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Are We Perpetuating Myths About Teacher Layoffs?

Don't count Charles Lane of the Washington Post among the fans of the EduJobs bill that Education Secretary Duncan has been pressing Congress about. Lane wrote a scathing blog item in the Post about the impending teacher layoffs, suggesting that teachers and the media have been perpetuating myths about the potential job losses.

Lane challenges the number of reported jobs at stake for next year (300,000); asserts that districts often overcompensate when predicting job losses; and asks how the proponents of the education jobs bill reached the proposed $23 billion figure.

Lane also goes on to mention that the unemployment rate among education workers is only half of the total workforce, saying, "You could argue that it's the teachers' turn to absorb some of the pain that they have been spared to date."

His conclusion:

The real point is that both the costs of the bill in increased federal borrowing and its benefits in purported economic stimulus are probably outweighed by the social costs of squandering an opportunity to wring concessions and reforms from the special interest groups that dominate public education, to the detriment of parents and children everywhere.

Thoughts? Fire away.

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