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More than 80% of school districts to cut jobs

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- More than 80% of U.S. school districts are expected to eliminate jobs and more than half will likely freeze hiring during the upcoming school year, an education organization said Tuesday.

Based on a survey of school administrators from 49 states, a total of 275,000 education jobs are expected to be cut in 2011, according to the American Association of School Administrators.

"Faced with continued budgetary constraints, school leaders across the nation are forced to consider an unprecedented level of layoffs that would negatively impact economic recovery and deal a devastating blow to public education," said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech.

While the jobs picture begins to stabilize across the broader economy, in its previous survey, the AASA projected job cuts in the education field between 2009 and 2011 to exceed the jobs created by the government in that same period.

In the survey released Tuesday, AASA said job cuts in the 2010 to 2011 school year alone would nearly negate the estimated 300,000 jobs saved or created by the government.

"This survey complements the results of our latest economic impact survey to truly illustrate that schools have yet to feel the economic relief and stability that is appearing in other sectors," said Domenech.

Of the projected job cuts, about 54% are teacher positions, 9% are support personnel, such as nurses and guidance counselors, 5% are administrative and 31% are classified, a category including maintenance employees and cafeteria workers.

The sample of Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools used in the survey accounts for about 11% of the nation's school districts.

And while 48 million students are expected to attend school next year, these significant job cuts are projected to raise the average student-to-teacher ratio from 15:1 to 17:1, AASA said.

For those districts that don't cut jobs, it's likely that they will freeze hiring instead, with 53% of districts projecting that they will not be bringing on new employees in the next school year. To top of page

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