News / USA

Cuts in Education Force Teacher Layoffs in California

One of the places hardest hit - the western state of California, thousands of teachers have lost their jobs. Due to cuts there will be 30 students per classroom rather than 20.
One of the places hardest hit - the western state of California, thousands of teachers have lost their jobs. Due to cuts there will be 30 students per classroom rather than 20.

Multimedia

The economic recession has affected almost every aspect of American life, including education.  Funding for public education has been cut as many U.S. states face budget problems.  

Teachers across California have been afraid to check their mailboxes.

Veronica Pellegrin recently received a dreaded letter. "Getting the letter and seeing you will no longer be employed, your services will no longer be required - it is very disheartening, to say the least, and frustrating," she said.

Pellegrin is not alone.  Sixty percent of the teachers at Mariposa-Nabi primary school in Los Angeles have received layoff notices.

"We have to keep going and making it the best year possible with all the changes," Principal Salvador Rodriguez stated.

Even with a tighter budget, Rodriguez has been able to provide computers for his students, but they are feeling the economic squeeze.  He says there used to be 20 students to a teacher at his school.  By next year, he expects nearly 30 students per classroom. "If you cut personnel, they cannot give that individual attention," he said.

Teachers say that is especially true in schools where there are large immigrant populations and English is not the first language of many students.

Superintendent John Deasy heads the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school system in the United States.  He says that during the past two years, his school district has had to lay off 10 to 12 percent of its staff, about half of them teachers. "The recession has had an enormous impact in the state budget,” he said. “And we have had a huge drop in funding."

University of California (at Los Angeles) Education Professor John Rogers says the recession has affected education funding across the United States. "Some projections estimate that across the country, 160,000 teachers have received lay-off notices this spring," Rogers explained.

Rogers says the situation in California is worse because the state was already facing a budget deficit before the recession, and that the state was spending less per student than the national average.  Primary and secondary schools in California receive most of their funding from the state government.  That is about 40 percent of the state’s general fund.

United Teachers Los Angeles union President A.J. Duffy says the amount of funding schools receives each year depends on the economy. "In the past 2.5 to three years, we have lost $20 billion in funding for public education," he said.

Superintendent John Deasy expects more changes, if the state's budget problem does not improve. "We are cutting all of our librarians, our nurses.  We would be forced to close and consolidate schools," Deasy stated.

Most school districts in California already have reduced the number of days students must attend school.  Other states around the country are also talking about reducing the school year as they face shrinking education budgets.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid