In an effort to cut spending and fill the budget gap, schools have resulted in cutting essential staff….teachers. Last year, around 3% or roughly 7000 teachers were laid off last year in NY state alone. This will probably start a trend in which administration want more from their staff using less money and larger class sizes
Layoffs hit nearly 3% of teachers in New York this year, according to a survey released Tuesday by the state Council of School Superintendents.
That translates into more than 7,000 teacher layoffs, said Richard Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers union. Another 4,000 unfilled positions were eliminated.
More than 4% of school administrators also were laid off.
The union and the superintendents blame Albany. They cite this year’s rare cut in state aid after two years of flat spending and a new law capping local property tax growth that takes effect in the spring.
“You are definitely seeing a greater impact of real layoffs,” Mr. Iannuzzi said, “and I think one of the reasons for that is that just about all the contraction that could take place has already taken place.”
The state has about 222,000 classroom teachers.
Besides the teacher layoffs, the superintendents’ survey found nearly 2% of teacher jobs were lost to attrition or retirement, contributing to two-thirds of districts saying class sizes are larger this year. The survey also found another 3% of administration jobs that were vacant were cut.
Overall, 80% of school districts reported cutting teaching positions, according to the survey.
“New York state’s schools absorbed one of the largest aid cuts in state history this year, but the reduction in state support has been going on for three years now and it is clearly taking a toll on school districts across the state,” said Robert Reidy, executive director of the superintendents’ group.
The online survey includes responses in August and September from 283 superintendents outside the Big Five districts: New York City, Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. There are about 700 school districts statewide.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had secured the first cut in school aid in decades after flat funding in the previous two years during the state’s fiscal crisis. Mr. Cuomo insisted schools could cut waste without harming instruction and specifically targeted growing administration costs.
“The schools and school districts chose to make these reductions in the classroom rather than dip into their reserves, cut back on the bureaucracy or reduce the growing number of administrators,” Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said in response to the report.
Additional findings in the “At the Edge” survey include:
As part of the 3.5% cut in state school aid, Mr. Cuomo and the Legislature agreed to an $800 million increase in the state’s school aid for the 2012-13 fiscal year. But even that could be in doubt, Mr. Cuomo noted last week, as revenues slow.
Three percent to 7% annual increases in local school budgets were common before the fiscal crisis, even in hard fiscal times. But the state’s $20 billion in annual school aid remains billions of dollars behind the state’s commitment under a high court ruling that found the state underfunded schools for decades. New York per-pupil spending is among the nation’s highest.
School districts also will be squeezed this year at the local end: Mr. Cuomo and the Legislature adopted a 2% cap on the growth in local property taxes, unless residents override the cap with a 60% vote.
The state Department of Education doesn’t track layoffs or job losses
Excerpt Taken From AP