Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Examiner: MontCo school layoffs total 160, not 1,300, council says


Montgomery County Public Schools misled parents and the public about the system's budget needs, county lawmakers said Tuesday. 
School system leaders say they had to eliminate about 1,350 positions during the recession, but they fail to mention they have also added nearly 1,200 positions, both teachers and support staff, Montgomery County Council members said. The net loss of jobs is 160 positions, a drop in work force of about 0.7 percent. 
And for fiscal 2013, which begins July 1, County Executive Ike Leggett has backed the school board's request to add teacher positions, which would give the school system a net of 229.5 more full-time employees than it had in fiscal 2009.
Examiner article continues at this link.

4 comments:

  1. So when the article refers to the county councilmembers as 'county lawmakers,' does this mean they would actually enforce the law? That would be a refreshing change. Apparently here the Board of Education has not been 'truthful' with the Council as they work within fiscal constraints to come up with the FY13 budget. The councilmembers should act as lawmakers, finally, and restrict the BOE. Do taxpayers need to pay for a $10M MCPS PR Department? Do taxpayers need to pay for MCPS higher-ups' travel? Blackberries? Unrestricted AmEx cards? Regular lunches at Il Pizzico? Councilmembers, please do your job and cut this budget.

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  2. This sounds like an apples and oranges argument. Layoffs is a term generally used when real life people lose a job. Positions generally refer to a job.

    A company can eliminate a position, but not necessarily fire (layoff) the individual in that position.

    It's not clear what the real story is here. Is it layoffs or positions?

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  3. Anonymous 01:57 makes a good point. Often positions that are either currently unfilled or those of people who are retiring will just be eliminated instead of filling them. I would also like to know the number of students for the years mentioned in the article. The student population has been growing so there should be an increase in teaching staff and related support staff just to maintain current services. As a teacher in MCPS, I can say that services have been reduced and class sizes have been increased. I've experienced that first hand.

    --Vicki E.

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    Replies
    1. It's also possible that many full-time positions have been eliminated (with or without people being actually let go as opposed to natural attrition) and replaced with part-time ones. If 3 full-time positions are eliminated and replaced with 3 positions at .5, the net loss is 1.5 positions in terms of hours worked, even though the actual number of positions remains the same at 3.

      Hypothetical example: elementary instrumental teachers have faced ever-increasing student allocations over the past two decades, which is accomplished primarily by reducing the number of hours those teachers spend at each school (despite increasing enrollment at individual schools AND throughout MCPS). If enough teachers elected to stay on in part-time positions instead of full-time, theoretically the number of teachers would remain the same even with a net loss of positions by hours (days, really, if you added it up over the past few years :-(). The same sort of thing can happen with Teaching Assistants, reducing their allotments so on paper cutting their positions and then re-hiring (re-designating, really) them at less than full-time (or just more part-time).

      So really, as written, this doesn't tell the whole story. I would be interested in more specifics, though.

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