Local school districts added 2,000 jobs for teachers, principals, and other employees in December, today’s jobs report shows, continuing schools’ painfully slow recovery from the recession.
Yet schools still have a long way to go before they leave the recession behind. School districts nationally employ 268,000 fewer workers than in the fall of 2008, the first full school year after the recession started — even as the number of students has risen by about 485,000. (See chart.)
Strong schools are a crucial building block of a healthy economy, and states and localities should make the investments necessary to rebuild and strengthen them. Last month’s modest gain is good news but far from what’s needed.