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Tuesday, April 20, 2010 10:59 PM

"State budget cuts imperil 100,000 to 300,000 public school jobs"; My Take: Fictional Emergency

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Not only is there no source of jobs looking ahead, there is a potential massive source of lost jobs from state budget cutbacks. For example, the New York Times is reporting Districts Warn of Deeper Teacher Cuts.

School districts around the country, forced to resort to drastic money-saving measures, are warning hundreds of thousands of teachers that their jobs may be eliminated in June.

The districts have no choice, they say, because their usual sources of revenue — state money and local property taxes — have been hit hard by the recession. In addition, federal stimulus money earmarked for education has been mostly used up this year.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan estimated that state budget cuts imperiled 100,000 to 300,000 public school jobs. In an interview on Monday, he said the nation was flirting with “education catastrophe,” and urged Congress to approve additional stimulus funds to save school jobs.

“We absolutely see this as an emergency,” Mr. Duncan said.

Districts in California have given pink slips to 22,000 teachers. Illinois authorities are predicting 17,000 job cuts in the public schools. And New York has warned nearly 15,000 teachers that their jobs could disappear in June.

Warning of an educational emergency, Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, proposed a $23 billion school bailout bill last Wednesday that would essentially provide more education stimulus financing to stave off the looming wave of school layoffs.

“This is not something we can fix in August,” said Mr. Harkin, chairman of the Senate education committee. “We have to fix it now.”
Fictional Emergency

The emergency is all in the heads of teachers' unions, fools like Senator Tom Harkin, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Not a single teaching job in the country need be lost.

The one and only thing necessary to fix the problem is for teachers' unions to reduce wages or pension benefits. If any jobs are lost, the responsibility lay 100% with teachers' unions.

Most in the private sector have had to make cutbacks. Few in the public sector have. Moreover wages and benefits in the public sector are way out of line with the private sector.

Every teaching job in the county can be saved. All the unions have to do is give a little. Instead, fools like Senator Harkin want to waste taxpayer dollars for the benefit of public workers.

This image from the City Journal summarizes how I feel.

Please read that City Journal article if you have not yet done so. It makes the case for the above image crystal clear.

Government Cannot Fix Anything

Harkin says "This is not something we can fix in August. We have to fix it now."

Enough already. Other than establish and enforce free market principles, government cannot "fix" anything. It can only make problems worse by throwing money at them. There are however, some reasonable fixes

1. Vote fools like Harkin out of office.
2. Open up choices and competition in schools.
3. Make public unions illegal across the board.

Things have to start with number 1.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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