The ripple effects of the economic recession are continuing to surge through education as many public high schools are preparing to layoff tens of thousands of teachers nationwide, according to a recent article from The Washington Post.
These layoffs will result in larger class sizes and some schools will be forced to cut certain programs and classes. California, Illinois, Michigan, New York and New Jersey are likely to be hit the hardest with the most faculty layoffs.
Congress is currently considering implementing a $23 billion bailout program for the public high schools to slow or eliminate most of the layoffs. This bill would be similar to the stimulus package that was implemented last year. The Obama administration is pressing hard for the passage of this bill. It estimated that layoffs could be anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000, unless congress implements a bailout program.
This news comes in the wake of Obama’s campaign to foster strong education at traditionally low-achieving schools. His efforts could prove futile if teachers are continuously laid off, class sizes increase and many educational programs are cut.
In April, The American Association of School Administrators reported that nearly two thirds of all public high school administrators cut positions this year. The report also stated that 90% of high school administrators plan to make cuts for next school year. Of the 453 administrators surveyed, 62% were anticipating raising class sizes, 34% were considering eliminating summer school and 13% were contemplating a four-day school week.
The threat of teacher layoffs can be averted; however, there are usually other deep cuts that will occur. Some high schools are cutting back in their cafeterias or even cutting days out of the academic calendar all in efforts to save money.
The National Education Association, which is a teachers union, estimated that 26,000 teachers are at a high risk of being laid off in California, 20,000 in Illinois, 13,000 in New York, 8,000 in Michigan and 6,000 in New Jersey.
These budget cuts have sparked outrage among students, parents, and many employees at public high schools. America’s public education system already lags behind that of other countries. Parties are growing increasingly concerned that students are paying the ultimate price of the education cuts by not getting the proper education needed to succeed at higher levels.
Even Hollywood is joining the movement and speaking out against education cuts. Actor Megan Fox created a short video protesting the budget cuts in California and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decisions regarding the budget cuts.