Today’s jobs report shows that local school districts continue to struggle with job losses. After school districts cut 7,000 positions in July, they now have 321,000 fewer teachers and other staff than they did when employment peaked in August 2008. As the graph below shows, local education jobs have been falling for four years.
Local education jobs are at their lowest point since October 2004, but K-12 schools educate hundreds of thousands more students than they did eight years ago. So many fewer teachers, administrators, and other staff in K-12 schools supporting such greater numbers of students undoubtedly hurts the quality of education that children receive.
The cuts to public employment rolls also hurt the recovery. When teachers and other public employees like police and firefighters lose their jobs, they have to cut back on spending. Less spending means fewer customers for businesses and a resulting drag on the recovery.