Portland trims teaching jobs
Portland became the first big metro school district to cut teaching jobs to balance next year's budget, voting Monday night to eliminate the equivalent of 250 teachers, classroom aides, counselors and librarians because of the loss of local property taxes, declining enrollment and other factors.
Look closely at the wording of this. They will "eliminate the equivalent of 250 teachers..."
They can't even be honest and say "We are firing X number of people." Everything about schools and their budgets is a numbers game.
The school cuts amount to about 10 percent of the work force of the 47,500-student district, which is Oregon's largest. The school board made the cuts as part of its approval of a $396 million budget.
Doing the math with their number: (which might as well be made up)
They have a "work force" of 2500; (250 cuts is 10%)
They have a student population of 47,500;
They have an 1 employee for every 19 students. (Hmm, not 35 students like the class sizes)
Let's pretend that 500 of the 2500 member "workforce" are administrators or "support staff", not teachers, (that's 20%) we would have a teacher to student ration of 1 teacher for every 23.75 students. To get close to the "overcrowded classroom" ratio you would have to have 40% of the "workforce" be non-teaching employees. 47,500 / 1500 = 31.6
Would parents and taxpayers prefer to have the school spend it's money on teachers and teaching or on hiring various "support staff" and counselors?
Cuts are coming in Portland and many districts across the state because school salaries, health insurance and pension costs are increasing faster than state aid. Pension contributions for Oregon school employees, for instance, are projected to rise 53 percent next school year.
That means they could rise 106% per budget cycle! (biennium)
Besides cutting teaching jobs, the district's budget:
Spends $500,000 to hire three new central administrators in the curriculum department.
Half a million for three admins. I'm sure our kids will be much better educated for it.
If only the school year wasn't so short...
2004-2005 SCHOOL CALENDAR
Between the start of the school year and the end of the school year there are 30 days (not counting weekends) that kids are not being taught. Outside the official "start - stop" there are 8 additional days when teachers are in the classroom (getting paid) but not teaching kids.