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‘Bailout’ Not Being Used To Hire Teachers

Buried discreetly in the ‘Business’ section of the New York Times:

Joelle Beck, laid off from her teaching job in O’Fallon, Ill., was hired at half the salary to run an in-school suspension program.

Given Money, Schools Wait on Rehiring Teachers

By MOTOKO RICH
August 17, 2010

As schools handed out pink slips to teachers this spring, states made a beeline to Washington to plead for money for their ravaged education budgets. But now that the federal government has come through with $10 billion, some of the nation’s biggest school districts are balking at using their share of the money to hire teachers right away.

Hilarious. But a child of 26 could have predicted it. As, in fact, we did.

With the economic outlook weakening, they argue that big deficits are looming for the next academic year and that they need to preserve the funds to prevent future layoffs. Los Angeles, for example, is projecting a $280 million budget shortfall next year that could threaten more jobs…

(Cough) Pensions.

The [Lose Angeles county school] district laid off 682 teachers and counselors and about 2,000 support workers this spring and was not sure it would be able to hire any of them back with the stimulus money. The district says it could be forced to cut 4,500 more people next year

Of course this time next year they will have their hands out again.

A $26 billion federal aid package, signed by President Obama on Aug. 10, allocates $10 billion for school districts to retain or rehire teachers, counselors, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and others — with the remainder of the money directed toward health care for the poor, emergency personnel and other state purposes.

The education measure requires states to distribute the money for the current school year, but allows school districts to spend it as late as September 2012

Again, remember that this was such an emergency, Congress had to come back from vacation to pass this bailout. And, of course, nobody had time to read it, either.

Though preserving jobs will be good for the economy, it will disappoint out-of-work teachers and parents who have been expecting a surge in rehiring. Many districts, like Kansas City, Kan., face the likelihood of midyear cuts, and administrators will count themselves lucky to save jobs. In the nation’s fifth-largest district in Clark County in Las Vegas, administrators are eager to hire some teachers, though they wonder what they will do when the federal money runs out.

“We’re a little wary about hiring people if we only have money for a year, but we know that’s the intent of this bill,” said Jeff Weiler, chief financial officer for Clark County schools.

Obviously, the only solution is to make this one time $26 billion dollar taxpayer ‘bailout’ a yearly thing. Which, in fact, is the entire purpose of this New York Times article. Which becomes even more obvious the deeper one wades into the piece:

State and local governments have let go 102,000 more employees than they have added in the last three months, and economists are concerned that with revenue so depressed, school payrolls could shrink more in coming months.

Though grateful for the aid, districts like Los Angeles are worried about how to create some budget stability year to year

Teachers who spent the summer in limbo are painfully aware that at best, the new federal aid may be a temporary lifeline

In the meantime, Mr. Bernard, a 33-year-old father of four, has accepted a post as a special education intern, for half his previous pay, at a different school in the Broward district.

“Even if I get brought back this year,” he said, “what’s going to happen next year? It’s really discouraging.”

The Times is so subtle.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “‘Bailout’ Not Being Used To Hire Teachers”

  1. Reality Bytes

    I got this – a new teacher just starting out – “School Choice Song” – it’ll give you some hope that maybe the next generation just may get it right after all. If we don’t kill them with debt & surrender first.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9nc58DGSxg

  2. proreason

    Most people are understantably reluctant to view teachers as our enemy.

    Perhaps it is time to reconsider it.

    It was also easy enough to make the case in the 1930’s that the german people weren’t really the problem. After all, they had suffered a lot and could build really good clocks and cars and had many scenic wonders in their country. It was all just the Nazi leadership.

  3. NoNeoCommies

    “We’re a little wary about hiring people if we only have money for a year, but we know that’s the intent of this bill,”
    Wow! I wonder if anyone said this when Clinton sent out grants to hire cops for one year?

    Will our courageous and objective media tell us this money is not being spent on teacher’s jobs, or will they just show us the 10 or 20 teachers actually hired as tokens?


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