Teachers in the country’s two largest school districts were warned last week that thousands of layoff notices would be coming.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a preliminary budget that calls for cutting more than 6,000 public school teaching jobs through layoffs and attrition. United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew called the New York proposal “bizarre” given the projected growth in city revenue.
In Los Angeles, the school board voted to send notices to 7,300 employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District, warning that they could be laid off in the next school year as the district tries to close a $408 million budget gap.
The city and school district face a dire budget situation, Superintendent Ramon Cortines said. The district has laid off almost 5,000 employees over the past two years because of state funding cuts, and Mr. Cortines said that more cuts might be ahead, including potentially eliminating a preschool program and after-school services; cutting funding to magnet school programs and summer school; and increasing class sizes. Our backs are against the wall, Mr. Cortines said.
A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2011 edition of Education Week as Largest U.S. Districts Warn of Thousands of Layoffs