Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kentucky schools cutting 975 jobs...and David Williams still can't feel any real pain

You may recall our self-esteemed President of the Senate David Williams declared that Kentuckians would not feel any real pain as a result of the recent budget cuts. I'll bet 975 Kentuckians would beg to differ.

This from Raviya Ismail at the Herald-Leader:

Kentucky schools have eliminated about 975 positions, including 455 teachers, to cope with cuts in the state's two-year budget, according to a state education group.

The Kentucky School Boards Association conducted a survey that found nearly 90 of the state's 174 school districts have cut about 455 certified positions and about 520 classified positions from their payrolls. Teachers are certified staff, and teachers' aides, also known as para-educators, are classified staff.

The reductions affect about 1 percent of the state's 42,000 teachers.

“The worry is that (layoffs) will be worse in the '09-'10 school year,” said Brad Hughes, spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association.

When adjusted for inflation, the state's funding of K-12 education will decline by $172 million this fiscal year and $171 million next year, according to an analysis by the Council for Better Education.

Specifically, the state budget cut about $43 million from education programs, including a $14.7 million reduction in the main funding formula for school districts. Also hard hit were professional development and after-school tutoring programs...


SPorcupine said...

More than the 975 will suffer.

Thousands of other educators will be picking up the slack for those who are gone. They'll be more tired, more frustrated, more worried about whether they can do right by every child in those larger classrooms.

Some of them will manage to do just as well with more students.

Some of them will not quite manage that, and thousands of Kentucky children will get less of what they need. The students may not know why it's different, or even realize they're getting less, but they will, in fact, be shortchanged either a little or a lot.

Also, I suspect that class size is growing even in the districts that didn't cut staff--because their enrollments are growing. We shouldn't assume that keeping the same staff means you can keep the same quality of individual attention and support.

Richard Innes said...

It will be interesting to see if teachers, as opposed to school staff, take the bigger hits here.

Are districts and schools making the right choices about cuts?

I suspect that teachers are going to get sacrificed while bloated staffing remains. I'll be watching for that, and smart teachers should, too.

Richard Innes

The Principal said...

As we used to say - "Don't cut programs that touch kids."

Best I can tell...folks are at the point where that's not fully possible.

Even when the budget is inadequate, schools districts are still required by law to commit to certain kinds of administrivia.

Both of you are correct to suggest that highly qualified faculty need to remain a top priority in every district.