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Teacher Layoffs: It's About the Students

On The Huffington Post, Tom Brenner, a laid off art teacher, responds to the apparent public apathy toward teacher job cuts:

But understand this—teachers losing their jobs isn't about just teachers, it's about the students. Students don't get laid off—they continue to be required to come to school with significantly shrinking budgets and resources (I taught my art class last year with a $0 operating budget).

He then points to the example of 5th grade teacher in Chicago he knows who, owing to layoffs, now has 47 students in her class. ...

When I hear anecdotes like that, it's hard to know what to make of the speculation that the current layoffs are partly owing to the fact that, between 1999 and 2008, the teacher force in the U.S. increased at more than double the rate of K-12 student enrollments. Where are all these teachers? Apparently not in places like Chicago.

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