Report: Layoffs Hit 3 Percent of NY Teachers

Courtney Williams's picture
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Layoffs hit nearly 3 percent of teachers in New York this year, according to a survey released Tuesday by the state Council of School Superintendents.

That translates into more than 7,000 teacher layoffs, said Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers union. Another 4,000 unfilled positions were eliminated.

More than 4 percent of school administrators also were laid off.

The union and the superintendents blame Albany. They cite this year's rare cut in state aid after two years of flat spending and a new law capping local property tax growth that takes effect in the spring.

"You are definitely seeing a greater impact of real layoffs," Iannuzzi said, "and I think one of the reasons for that is that just about all the contraction that could take place has already taken place."

The state has about 222,000 classroom teachers.

Besides the teacher layoffs, the superintendents' survey found nearly 2 percent of teacher jobs were lost to attrition or retirement, contributing to two-thirds of districts saying class sizes are larger this year. The survey also found another 3 percent of administration jobs that were vacant were cut.

Overall, 80 percent of school districts reported cutting teaching positions, according to the survey.

"New York state's schools absorbed one of the largest aid cuts in state history this year, but the reduction in state support has been going on for three years now and it is clearly taking a toll on school districts across the state," said Robert Reidy, executive director of the superintendents' group.

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