Across America, pink slips are being passed out. No, it’s not Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s teachers losing their jobs due to budget cuts in the school system. Last year, the “education catastrophe”, as quoted by the U.S Secretary of Education, reached astronomical proportions.
In Los Angeles, over 6,000 city teachers were fired. This was part of a statewide mandate to layoff 22,000 teachers in California. Teachers and students alike flooded the streets in protest as the budget cuts spread to Arizona, New York and other cities around the U.S. The reason for these layoffs was the recession everyone dealt with. School districts get their funds from the revenue of local property taxes and state funds. Those revenues have been down because of the recession and the government stimilus funds meant for next year are almost used up.
The New York Times reports that, in addition to teacher layoffs, districts are planning to close schools, cut programs and shorten the school day, week or year. The real victims of this aren’t the teachers, but the students trying to get an education.
- Students may get less class instructions time due to increase in class sizes and lack of teacher’s assistants.
- Students who need extra help in subjects will get left behind as teachers have no time to tutor them.
- With less money for books and technology needed to further education, students don’t learn as much as they could.
This loss of education in schools affects the families of students, as well. Parents now have to set aside extra time to help children with their studies. Help the children haven’t received in the classrooms. People are no longer eager to be a teacher when they see the lack of funds and jobs available.
Unfortunately, many believe there will be no end in sight for at least three more years.