Over 100,000 teaching jobs were lost in the past year, while more than 300,000 have been lost since 2008, according to a recent article in Fire Dog Lake. Most of these losses were due to state budget cuts. However, there has been very little federal relief since 2010.
One obvious repercussion has been increased class sizes and decreased course offerings. However, there are other less obvious implications, like the fact that the majority of teachers are women and that job losses in the education sector have had significant impact on the national unemployment rate for women. Another less obvious consequence has been teachers’ unions increasing willingness to voluntarily forgo raises and accept employer take-backs like furloughs, decreased contributions to health and pension plans, and increased workloads, in hopes that these concessions will stem the layoffs. Many of these concessions will likely become permanent, while going years without a raise can significantly reduce teachers’ retirement savings.