Yesterday Rick Henderson of the John Locke Foundation reported in a blog post that the number of state government workers the state has laid off is probably less than we think — much less.
According to a presentation made by David Brown of the Office of State Budget and Management at a budget hearing at the General Assembly, the number of individuals who have received state severance benefits as of November 1, 2011 is 1,629. The number represents individuals who have received a severance package or payment to cover medical insurance as teachers do. According to the document, Local Education Agencies (LEA) have laid off 516 employees.
The numbers are a far cry from the 20,000 to 30,000 in predicted job losses by Gov. Perdue and House Democrats. On June 13th, House Minority Leader, Joe Hackney (D-Orange) said passing the budget would eliminate 9,300 jobs in K-12 education (Figure is from legislative testimony available in House Audio Archives .
Today’s News & Observer details some of the surprise and posturing the numbers have set off among Democrats and Republicans.
It must be emphasized the numbers do NOT represent total job losses, but those who have received severance benefits. Some employees, including less than full-time employees receive no severance packages. Still, even adding in those numbers it is not likely that total layoffs will reach the levels predicted by Democrat leaders.
For more on how the predicted job loss numbers have actually impacted the public schools see here.