Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Good News: *Only* 32,000 Teacher Jobs Were Lost This Year

The Austin American-Statesman has a blog post today touting the hopeful results of a Moak, Casey and Associates poll conducted over a portion of the Texas school districts that responded to their poll, and it shows that much, much fewer than 100,000 teacher jobs were lost this past year than predicted.

That is, according to their statistical projection over the entire state, only 32,000 teachers are no longer plying their trade in Texas.

This, the American-Statesman says, was “much, much smaller than the 100,000 school jobs that consultant Lynn Moak estimated would be lost when the 2012-13 budget was first released in January.”

Much, much smaller.

Except it isn’t.

In my recollection, the prediction was for a loss of 100,000 jobs over the life of the present biennial budget.

The article goes on to point out that fewer jobs were lost due to an infusion of cash from the federal government that saved many jobs from extinction. Yes, thanks to the feds, that Governor Rick Perry is “Fed Up” with, fewer Texas teachers were laid off than predicted.

But the truth is, we are not done. Not yet. While this year we saw a $4 billion shortfall in what the state ought to rightly send to its districts, next year the number is $13 billion. And there is no federal money coming next time to help offset some of this funding gap.

So while a $4 billion shortfall resulted in the loss of only 32,000 jobs, a shortfall of three times that without a federal backup translates to a loss of three times that many jobs in 2012 – 2013.

Or more.

Now I keep hearing that revenues are not coming in as predicted by Comptroller Combs. They are actually higher. That’s good. But the fact remains Texas is cutting off its left arm and its right leg in order not to raise revenue to pay for public education – a full frontal assault on public education that, if not countered, spells the end of education in Texas as we know it.

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