Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Laid-off teachers can mean good or bad news for kids

Laying off a bunch of teachers can potentially affect a school or school district positively or negatively, the Bloomington Pantagraph reports.

On the upside, the pool of qualified teachers who are looking for work has increased, making it easier for districts—especially those in rural areas—to find good teachers.

Tri-Valley Superintendent Curt Simonson hired a high school chemistry teacher who used to work in Normal and a Spanish teacher who used to work in Lincoln. He said those positions can be hard to fill.

“We gained two good teachers. For that we are happy,” the Pantagraph quoted him as saying. However, he also acknowledged the district had to fire two teachers in other areas.

On the other hand, several school districts are forced to hire teachers with less experience because teacher contracts call for them to earn a lower salary than teachers with more experience. One teacher who is still looking for a job told the paper she had applied at half a dozen schools after receiving her reduction in force notice last spring.

“The one interview I did get, they hired a student teacher,” the Pantagraph quoted Diane Bechtel, a second-career teacher with seven years of experience, as saying. “It’s the first time in my life that I’ve even had trouble getting a job. Schools are forced into hiring inexperienced teachers. It’s the kids who are suffering.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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