Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM
As we reported yesterday, April 30 is the deadline for schools that plan to layoff teachers to notify them. School districts that have already announced planned layoffs include Cincinnati, Cleveland, Coventry, Dublin, Lorain and Westerville:
Among the reasons cited for the reductions are dwindling student populations, cuts in state funding, lower property revenues, and trouble passing levies and labor contracts.
Personnel costs make up the largest part of school district budgets -- generally around 80 percent -- and teachers make up the largest group of school district personnel. In some districts, overall staff levels have inched downwards as enrollment has plummeted. In others, the picture is very different.
In Cleveland, for example, enrollment fell about 40 percent over the past ten years. The number of teachers fell about 25 percent over the same period. But in Cincinnati, teacher staffing levels actually fell more than enrollment. That means that Cleveland actually had more teachers per student last year than they did in 2002. In Cincinnati, the reverse was true -- they had fewer teachers per student in 2011 than in 2002.
But it's important to note that a higher district-wide teacher:student ratio doesn't necessarily mean that class sizes are smaller. And the complexities of staffing schools mean that one wouldn't expect staffing levels to rise or fall at exactly the same pace as enrollment.
Still, let's look at three districts that recently announced plans to layoff teachers -- Cleveland, Cincinnati and Westerville -- and see how they compare.
Over the ten years from 2002 to 2011, in the Cleveland school district:
Over the ten years from 2002 to 2011, in the Cincinnati school district:
Over the six years from 2005 to 2011, in the Westerville school district: