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Minnesota Teachers Feel the Pinch


As a result of budget cuts in the ongoing economic crisis, a growing number of teachers across Minnesota are out of work and unable to find other jobs in education, according to a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The statewide teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, predicts between 500 and 800 teachers lost their jobs in June upon the completion of their contracts. The teacher supply in Minnesota massively overwhelms the demand, as the state grants around 10,000 new teacher’s licenses each year while only 1,500 teachers annually decide to retire.

The agreement between the schools and the teachers’ union necessitates the first layoffs coming from the pool of untenured teachers, in a state where teachers attain tenure by working in a district for three years. This means that fresh, new faces in Minnesota's teaching pool may be forced out of jobs, leaving older teaching staffs intact.

Math, science, and special education, however, are three areas in which teachers are experiencing a reprieve. Jessica Bro is a math teacher in Oakdale who lost her job in May and found a new teaching job before school let out for summer. She said, "I went into math for the security of it. Everybody needs a math and science teacher. You're basically guaranteed a job."


Why on earth are Schools of Education graduating such a surplus of teachers? Knowing that the likelihood of a job is remote, it hardly seems fair to take a student's money. Why aren't counselors advising aspiring teachers that unemployment awaits them? It seems unethical to continue accepting so many students into teaching programs.

Please don't expect more experienced teachers to give up their positions so that new 'young' teachers can be hired.

If teachers are to devote years of study and hard work to their profession, they need to feel that they have a longer than a year or two of a future in teaching. They also need to know they can pay their bills.

I too as of June 2009 have been out of work in MN. I have successfully taught every area of Industrial Technology and have had an excellent time. I do hold claim to being the first IT female shop teacher in seven high schools now. I see two things happening with the hiring processes. Hire teachers as substitutes with no contract, no benefits, and maybe an improper license. Also I see young teachers hired and consistently fired and turned out so that the districts can save money, keeping only the connected teachers. So a person like myself who just wants to help out, ends up traveling and getting older. I am now working on my second summer house rental flip, and doing well. Next year looks even bleaker for teachers due to how the district budgets usually react financially a year delayed to the economy. Signed by a very skilled artist/gypsy with only my real-estate knowledge to give me hope for the stability of career.

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