Much is being made out of the DPI’s release of a document indicating that since 2008-09 North Carolina public schools have laid off about 6,100 individuals. The numbers are from surveys the agency sent to all 115 LEAs. Duplin and Guilford County Schools did not participate.
While the numbers are what they are, I’m leery of about the validity of such stats. For one, many schools still hire through September for fall positions. Administering the same survey on October 1 would likely provide more accurate data.
Still there are reporting glitches. Yesterday afternoon DPI said the figures were being revised because they contained an error. Turns out the original data included data from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) that said the district was cutting 313 teacher jobs. That’s not true. CMS actually added 376 teacher jobs. The CMS web site lists 135 job openings, including 111 job openings for teachers. A review of the Wake County Public Schools web site, lists between 10 and 20 openings for teachers — depending on the day you visit the site. There are additional listings for administrators, instructional and support staff. How are these positions factored in?
While the job losses involve real people and impact families, perspective is also needed. The 1,716 teaching positions which have been eliminated for the coming year – including 534 teacher layoffs – account for about 1.8 percent of the current teaching force. In addition, the 2,418 total reduction-in-force layoffs constitute about 1.3 percent of all public school personnel. Such numbers hardly represent the draconian cuts so often reiterated by the left and certainly far less – on a percentage basis – than the job losses experienced by the private sector.