Education Survey: At Least 4,200 Teaching Jobs Lost in 2012-13

This school year’s reduction is on top of an estimated 14,590 teaching positions eliminated in 2011-12.

For the second year in a row, Pennsylvania has lost thousands of teaching jobs and students have lost a multitude of programs and services due to stagnant state and local revenues that are not keeping pace with rising pension obligations, according to a statewide survey released Monday.

The survey, conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, found 30 percent of respondent school districts cut 4,200 teaching positions through layoffs, attrition and vacancies left open in the 2012-13 school year.

That is on top of the 14,590 teaching jobs lost in 2011-12 after Gov. Tom Corbett and the Legislature reduced state education spending on public schools by $854 million, according to a similar survey the two organizations conducted last year.

Fewer teachers equal larger class sizes and fewer electives and extra-curriculars for students in the 264 out of 500 school districts that responded to the new survey in August.

The survey found 51 percent of districts added more children to classrooms this school year than in the previous school year, when class sizes also were increased. Students had fewer electives in 44 percent of school districts, and they had less tutoring in 35 percent of surveyed districts this school year. Those results are nearly identical to electives and tutoring reductions that occurred in 2011-12, too.

Click here to read the full article by Steve Esack, published in The Morning Call (October 2, 2012).

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