Not long ago, a Connecticut newspaper published an article entitled, “Economy threatens many school jobs.”♦ The piece reported that “at least 933 teaching positions are at risk for elimination next year.” Joseph Cirasuolo of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents warned Connecticut citizens that “the educational program they will receive next year will be of a lower quality than the one they are receiving this year.”
I was curious about the percentage reduction in teaching positions that would be represented by the 933 at risk jobs. I went on line to try to find out how many public school teachers are in the state of Connecticut. I also contacted the State Department of Education, but no one could or would provide the current number of certified teachers working in our schools at this time.
In desperation, I contacted my Connecticut State Representative, Mike Alberts, and asked if he could deploy someone on his staff to learn how many teachers we currently have in our state. Mike dug out some data from the state Teachers’ Retirement Board, and their last count indicated that there were 51,738 active teachers in Connecticut public schools. The possible elimination of 933 positions is less than a two percent reduction! In this tough economy, many organizations have had to reduce their workforce by a lot more than a mere 1.8%.
How many of those companies are threatening their customers with a lower quality product or service than they provided last year? If they did so, those companies would soon be out of business. The arrogance of Mr. Cirasuolo and other educators is appalling. A possible reduction of less than 2% is no excuse for providing a lower quality education for our children. It’s not even an excuse for continuing the current level of poor school performance.
♦The Bulletin, Norwich, Connecticut.
© 2013 James F. Leonard. All rights reserved.