The Raleigh-based Civitas Institute has released an interesting study that contradicts the spin from leftists and their media comrades about those mean ol’ Republicans and their state budget cuts:
An August 31st press release by the Department of Public Instruction declared that this fall, the public schools will eliminate more than 6,300 positions and layoff more than 2,400 school staff—including over 530 teachers – from existing positions. A spreadsheet attached to the same document details how North Carolina public schools have lost more than 8 percent of school staff since 2008-09. The news has garnered considerable media attention. In recent weeks, Democrat legislators and the North Carolina Association of Educators have used the numbers to publicize what they believe to be the adverse impacts of widespread job losses and also to build opposition to Republican budget plans for public education.
But what actual impact has the budget had on staffing levels for large schools? To answer that question we looked at staff and employment figures for the 20 largest Local Education Agencies (LEAs) across North Carolina for the 2011-12 budget year (See Table I) …
The Other Side of the Story
While the 2011-12 staff reductions are real, one aspect of the discussion that seems to be forgotten is that the budget reductions and job losses are far from unprecedented. Table II chronicles position eliminations and reduction-in-force actions (i.e. layoffs) for the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Department of Public Instruction chose the year 2008-09 because that was the first year LEAs experienced significant job losses. However, as the table details, the subsequent two years also saw significant job losses While it is true the magnitude of the losses varies by year and district, the pattern of job losses over three years is the point that seems to be ignored by a press and educational establishment convinced the current budget reductions are without precedent….
The current budget reductions for North Carolina public schools are far from unprecedented. For many of the largest LEAs, 2011-12 losses will be similar in scope to those of 2009-10, a reality conveniently forgotten by many educators and lawmakers. Telling that story and realizing state and local decision makers can no longer delay making tough choices are steps that will help put our schools on solid financial footing and will pay healthy dividends for students, parents and taxpayers for years to come.
A quick review of job loss data for the 20 largest LEAs for the years 2008-09 through 2010-11 (See Table II) shows that the current year reductions merely continue a well-established trend.