Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Teacher Layoffs?

It seems we've heard time and time again, over the years, threats of teacher layoffs. Seems to me they usually come around the time the state budgets nears its deadline. I've always felt that, for the most part, it's just posturing by management and the teacher's unions to scare everyone into making sure the schools get all the money they want.

I'm sure there's a little bit of that going on this time, as well, but this time they're making it sound like there really will be some layoffs. One thing I have to wonder is...why?

How many of these supposedly being laid off are in positions that were non- existent, say, four years ago? Probably none. I'm guessing most of these positions have been there for years, if not decades, long before the current supposed budget crisis.

All state departments are being asked to reduce expenses by 10%, yet at least some of these teachers were probably in those same positions when the budget might have been 30% or more less than what they're being asked to operate on now.

If the same people were working the same job for much less than they're being asked to cut now, how does it get to layoffs so easily?
I don't know that I'll ever understand that, at least in regards the schools and their declining enrollment.


At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All state departments are being asked to reduce expenses by 10%"

Fred! I AM surprised at how little you seem to know about this!

No one is being ASKED! This is all but done, and the general public seems oblivious.

Across the board cuts to social services, dept. of rehab., parks, schools, the list goes on and on.
Everything BUT tax breaks for luxury yacht owners.

This is NOT 'just another budget crisis"

Along with all these jobs and services, many places will lose matching Federal funds- making it actually at 20% cut!

This is to places that were ALREADY operating on a shoestring!

The end result?

MANY more homeless. Folks severely
disabled will lose their careworkers- teachers have already lost jobs-forest rangers? Gone!

This will hurt so many, and will help?

Read up on it!

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I've read about it off and on since this last supposed crisis. You have to remember that the state budget has increased around 8%, if memory serves me correct, every year since the Governator's been in office. That's actually down from what I believe used to be 10% increases on average the years before that.

Usually, when the usual suspects claim their budget is being cut- 9 times out of 10, maybe 19 out of 20 times- it's really not a "cut" they're getting at all but their budget isn't being increased as much as they would like.

I don't know if that's what's happening here, or not.

But, let's say an agency's budget is actually being cut 10%. Arguably, that would mean having to use the same budget they had the year before, or the year before that- the year before would be an 8% cut, the year before that a 16% cut (excluding compounding, I think).

These teachers were all teaching school two years ago. Sure, there's always the obligatory pink slips handed out when the budget doesn't get passed on time, but they stayed on with a smaller budget than the one we're talking about this year.

What would make the difference? Why would they be able to keep their jobs two years ago and not now when their budget is probably actually bigger than two years ago?

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Just a clarification about my reference to "compounding": It's like compound interest.

Say you have a budget one year of $10k. If it increased 8% the next year, then it would be $10.08(?)k the next year. The year after that the budget would be .08 times $10.08k, not the original $10k.

Not sure I did the math right but you get the idea.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consider also that the combined salaries for those same teachers 10 years ago was less than it is today, even adjusted for inflation. Each year, teachers receive longevity raises and can also work to move laterally on the pay scale. They have 10 years more experience now and thus cost more to employ.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many public school administrators are losing their jobs?

I'd like to see some administrators in our two university systems take a pay cut. $300,000+ for the president of HSU while public school teachers are getting laid off is obscene.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger lodgepole said...

The thing is, teachers work 3/4 time at best and get paid very well... The administrators are in a whole other league...There is fat that can be trimmed.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Schools make money by having students, they have decreased class sizes (one story claims 15-20 students) in a class when the teachers used to have more students per class.

Less employment in the area, less people having kids, and the baby-boomer to Gen Y (Gen Xer's had alot less children than their parents did) And you get too many teachers, not enough students.

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, it's the local advocate of the seniors and the young who has the greatest share of the blame for this financial crisis. Patty Berg, and her friends in Sacramento, have to accept the responsibility for passing budgets with spending programs totally out of control. Now that revenues are not coming in at necessary rates, these groups (seniors and young) are feeling the brunt of savage cut-backs in funding of their programs.

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't know that it's fair to blame Patty Berg for this as she really wasn't in office when things got out of control. She came in right after the dot com boom and bust, didn't she?

While there's certainly plenty of blame to go around, a finger can certainly be blamed at Wes Chesbro as he was a player at the time- some say an influential player.

The state had tons of revenue as a result of the .com boom and spent every penny of it and more. They didn't spend the money on one- time things, either. They raised the level of spending permanently on such things as 20,000 new state employees and permanent raises in funding for various things.

Past State Senator, Ray Haynes, made the point a while back that if the legislature had just kept spending limited to account for inflation and population growth, we could have encountered the dot com crash with billions of dollars in surplus- I believe he said it was something like 10 or 20 billion dollars in surplus.

I could be wrong on those numbers as it seems pretty high. Then again, the current deficit is supposed to be up around $20 billion, so maybe those numbers are right.

So blame Chesbro, not Berg, although as I said, there's plenty of blame to go around.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now Chesbro has the guts to run again and give us a great big hand full of the same we got before. It just can't get any better! I couldn't make up such a scenario and if I tried, you wouldn't belive it. But it's true and we will probably get treated to many more years of grief.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Yep, and Chesbro will probably get elected by many of the same people that voted for term limits...twice.


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