Growing Number of Students but Fewer TeachersAssociation of Educators
January 2, 2014 — 815 views
A report published by the Houston Chronicle revealed that job certainty in Texas for aspiring educators is experiencing a record low. The report stated that there has been a sharp decrease in the number of new teachers that have been hired in Texas over the period of four years. The exact numbers state that schools in Texas hired less than 15,000 first year teachers in the last year. This number is far less than 25,000 which was recorded in 2008.
Cuts to Education at Fault?
In the school year of 2011-2012, public schools of the state lost more teachers than they gained. This was revealed by the Texas Education Agency itself. This is the first time in the recent history of the state that this number has come down. On the other hand, this cut down in the number should not come much as a surprise, taking into consideration the cuts to education by Texas, which slashed around $5.5 billion in funding during the legislative session of 2011.
District Judge John Dietz had already ruled earlier that the school finance system of Texas is unconstitutional and that it fails to provide required as well as adequate education to the students of the state. This trial will again be opened in January to see whether the newly passed legislation of 2013 can do anything to change the situation.
New Teachers Struggling
According to the data revealed by the Texas Education Agency, public schools in Texas lost around 36,000 teachers due to attrition. On the other hand, only close to 25,000 new teachers were hired. Clearly, due to shrinking public education budget, the number of teachers being hired is very less. The Texas State Teachers Association revealed that around 11,000 teachers in 2011 were laid off. Higher priority is given by the districts to experienced teachers who may have been previously laid off. This has forced many recent graduates of Texas with a degree in education to fight by competing against experienced teachers. All this in spite of the requirement for new educators as there has been an increase in the student population of Texas.
The president of Houston Federation of Teachers, Gayle Fallon, mentioned that there are less qualified candidates in the market than there were in the past, as the salaries have come down and there has been an increase in the work.