“Over the past four years, we’ve relied on $30 million in ESSER, or COVID relief funds to support various aspects of our operations from staff recruitment to instructional support to technology and HVAC upgrades,” Superintendent Schuhler said. “These funds have offset our funding request to the county. However, this resource is set to expire in September of 2024.” Source: ABC11 North Carolina


In this article, Dr. Joe Phillips points out the end is nigh. He isn’t referring to climate apocalypse but rather the end of school funding:

for schools and districts, the implications could significantly mirror those of the Great Recession—widespread budget cuts, potential layoffs, increased class sizes, and a rollback of services that will likely disproportionately affect high-needs communities and students the most. via Coaching K-12

I previously referenced the budget cliff in another blog entry, sharing local RIFs and layoffs. The impact will be felt outside schools, too.

if staffing levels were to fall back to the same levels they were before the pandemic in 2018-19, districts would need to lay off 384,000 full-time staff, according to Chad Aldeman, an education analyst. Via CNN

The Tsunami of School Unemployment

A friend in public schools recently related how his superintendent was planning to cut a whole department (Instructional Technology). I shared my insights with him, pointing out it wasn’t about him but the tsunami wave of cuts headed towards public school education.

And, it’s not like it is all that great to be there for many educators:

Note: The source for the image above is from a survey of U.S. public K-12 teachers conducted between October 17 and November 14, 2023, titled "What's It Like To Be a Teacher in America Today?"

It’s about to get worse.

Yesterday When I was Young

(great song by that title!)

It seems like only yesterday when my mentor gave me a similar appraisal as I saw my team cut in half in a large urban school district. It was unreal then.

I still remember HR encouraging me to fill one more position even after I told them that tech allotment funds were disappearing. I had multiple meetings where I had to explain to their incredulity what was coming. Now, I can’t help but laugh a little at my own naivete. Character-building experiences.

Shockingly, HR didn’t believe me right away 😒. That changed fast.

History Repeats Itself

This chat with a colleague last week took me back in time when I lost half my team (3 professionals) due to the end the state technology allotment.

The cut back then was especially egregious given that I had successfully worked to get a team member recognized as Ed Tech Facilitator of the Year. She was let go as part of a reduction in force. Some others I highly respected also lost their jobs.

Other districts lost everything and everyone in edtech. The negative impacts endure today, over a decade later.

Doom Crier

With looming layoffs, I can only give one suggestion to those who may find themselves in for a world of chaos due to Texas malevolent politics, ESSER funding fumbles, etc.

No doubt, fascist legislators and governors are relishing (ala starve the beast that George Lakoff warned us about in his book Don’t Think of an Elephant ) this logical conclusion to their shenanigans:

Leave education. Get out while you can do it of your own volition and find a job in another industry. Do it NOW, while those jobs are still available.