Massive school staff layoffs across the US will impact students learning

The US has seen a massive school staff layoffs in the past few months due to coronavirus lockdown. Experts agree that this will have a significant impact on school-going children.

The US unemployment rate has jumped from 3.5 percent in February to 13.3 percent in June according to nonfarm payroll data. This marked one of the sharpest increase in unemployment in US history, with over 40 million people in the US losing their jobs within that period.

The job losses have been due to the spread of coronavirus in the country, which has led to lockdowns and job closures. With the US starting to relax lockdown restrictions and the Trump Administration showing a willingness to reopen the economy, the full picture of the damage the pandemic has caused is starting to become clearer.

School staff layoffs

The education sector has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in the country with hundreds of thousands of job losses being recorded in the last few months. This has resulted in experts worrying about the impact these layoffs will have on school going kids.

In April alone, nonfarm payroll data showed that over 469,000 school staff lost their jobs, marking the sharpest job losses since the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, the job losses were so severe in April that they exceeded the total number of school staff laid off in the entire 2008 Great Recession by over 300,000.

Impact of the layoffs

Experts agree that these layoffs will take years to correct, and while comparing with the 2008 impact of school staff layoffs, they have a picture of how this will unfold. Research has shown that schools have not yet recovered from the 2008 job losses and adding the latest job losses will impact schools for years to come.

Poor school districts are the most affected by this pandemic. With a majority of their revenue coming from property taxes, they have not been able to raise enough money during this period and they are resulting in school staff layoffs.

The Paterson, New Jersy school district, the school board of Rochester, New York, and Napa school district in California have laid off 243,198 and 145 school staff respectively. Other small districts have also implemented school staff layoffs at varying degrees.


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