CCSD layoffs no reason to increase education spending

Victor Joecks

Five years into the worst recession since at least the Great Depression, the union bosses at the Clark County Education Association had a choice. Accept a pay freeze for two years, which actually included one year of pay increases for education steps or choose to increase teacher salaries and force the Clark County School District to lay off 1,000+ teachers.

Think about that. Five years into this recession, which has hit Nevada harder than any other state, CCSD wouldn’t have had to lay off a single teacher if CCEA had agreed to a salary freeze that actually included a one-year salary increase from some teachers! (Ironically, laying off CCSD’s 1,000 worst teachers would have been a boon to student achievement, except that CCEA union bosses ensured almost all layoffs will happen by seniority.)

We all know people who’ve lost their jobs. Nevada has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. NPRI has heard from businessmen and women who’ve had 60+ percent drops in revenue, have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and been forced to lay off dozens of employees.

Even so, in the midst of this economy, there would have been no teacher layoffs if union bosses had been willing to accept a pay freeze that actually included a one-year pay increase for some employees.

And this is going to be  the evidence that Nevada’s education system needs more funding? Because CCSD couldn’t afford two years worth of raises five years into the worst economy in decades and union bosses decided they’d prefer salary increases to saving teacher jobs?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

And this is on top of Nevada nearly tripling inflation-adjusted, per-pupil spending in the last 50 years while educational achievement has been stagnant.

Educational improvement will only come from real education reforms, not rewarding CCEA union bosses for choosing pay increases over teacher positions.