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School bailout about unions, not kids

The U.S. Congress is rushing to approve a spending bill to retain teacher jobs that are not in actual jeopardy, according to the Center for Education Reform.

A press release gives more details:

Referring to the bailout as a response to a “manufactured crisis,” CER President Jeanne Allen today called on lawmakers to recognize that excessive hiring and over-spending by school districts when funds were plentiful — despite declining student enrollment in more than half of US states — has created the illusion that classroom teachers are in danger of losing their jobs.

“Most of the positions and programs that would be secured by this new bailout with taxpayer dollars are not classroom teachers or proven instructional programs and thus have no impact on student learning,” said Jeanne Allen. “This is a jobs bill that has no place in our schools, where how we educate students should always be the most important consideration.”

The program is described as a “gift to the unions.”

Recently in Kansas, schools have exaggerated the effect of proposed budget cuts on teacher employment. Last year the Kansas State Department of Education asked school districts how many employees they will cut for the current school year. Schools reported they would 3,701 positions. This number was widely reported and discussed.

But when the Kansas Legislative Research Department surveyed the actual numbers, they found that Kansas schools eliminated only 875 jobs — far fewer than school officials said they would eliminate.

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