Between COVID-19 and layoffs, schools may not have enough teachers to get through the year

疫情加上裁員,學??赡軟]有足夠的教師來撐過這一年


(A sign announces that the Las Vegas Academy is closed on July 22 in Las Vegas. Clark County school trustees cited fears of spreading the coronavirus and unanimously decided to begin the 2020-2021 school year using distance education.)

(位于拉斯維加斯的一塊宣布拉斯維加斯學院于7月22日關閉的標志牌??死丝h學校的理事們擔疫情會傳播,一致決定2020-2021學年開始時采用遠程教育。)
新聞:

In Las Vegas, where more than 1 in 6 workers are now unemployed, Fernando Valenzuela decided to quit his job this summer. He’s one of nearly 4,300 substitute teachers in the Clark County School District earning roughly $100 per day, without sick leave or health coverage.

在拉斯維加斯,現在有超過六分之一的工人失業,佛南度·瓦倫蘇拉決定在今年夏天辭職。他是克拉克縣學區近4300名代課教師之一,這些老師每天收入約100美元,沒有病假,也沒有醫療保險。

Though Valenzuela, who filled a full-time teaching vacancy at the Nevada Learning Academy, earned a bit more – $120 a day – than the Clark County average, it was still not enough for him to brave the risks of working at a school during the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

瓦倫蘇拉填補了內華達教育學院的全職教師空缺,雖然他每天的收入比克拉克縣的平均水平多一點——120美元,但在冠狀病毒不斷升級的大流行期間,這仍然不足以讓他冒在學校工作(而感染病毒)的風險。

“It’s frustrating,” Valenzuela said. “It’s been almost 20 years since our last raise. … As much as I love working with these kids, it’s not worth it to me. I’m 29. I’m healthy. But there’s still people dying out there at my age.”

“這令人沮喪,”瓦倫蘇拉說?!拔覀兩洗渭有揭呀浛?0年了……雖然我很喜歡和這些孩子們一起工作學習,但對我來說不值得。我29歲。我是健康的。但還是有人在我這個年紀(得肺炎)死了?!?


Those patchwork solutions, however, may be in jeopardy, as the ongoing pandemic and deepening recession throw new challenges at school districts trying to stanch teacher shortages across the country.

然而,這些零零散散的解決方案可能面臨危險,因為持續的流行病和不斷加深的經濟衰退給試圖解決全國教師短缺問題的學區帶來了新的挑戰。


And for those teachers willing to return to the classroom – whether virtually or in person – pink slips may be coming later this year. The massive layoffs predicted at the start of the pandemic haven’t happened – yet. But experts say as the economic crisis decimates state tax revenue and forces states to slash budgets, it’s more and more likely the nation won’t have enough teachers to staff schools even once reopening is safe.

而對于那些愿意重返課堂的教師們——無論是通過網絡還是親自前往授課——解雇通知書可能會在今年晚些時候到來。在大流行開始時預測的大規模裁員還沒有發生。但專家表示,由于經濟危機削減了各州的稅收收入,迫使各州削減預算,即使重新開學,美國也越來越有可能(因為缺錢導致)沒有足夠的教師來為學校提供師資。

“Without a (federal) rescue package, the layoffs are coming, even if they’re not happening right away in September,” said Dan Goldhaber, director of the Center for Education Data and Research at the University of Washington. “Across the country, school districts are wrestling with this now.”

華盛頓大學教育數據和研究中心主任丹·歌德哈伯稱:“如果沒有(聯邦)救助計劃,裁員就會到來,即使9月還不會馬上發生。全國各地的學區都在努力解決這個問題?!?

The state of the workforce has long been shaky. Roughly 1 in 7 teachers transfers or quits after the conclusion of each academic year, while teacher prep programs have seen a steady decline in enrollment.

勞動力的狀況一直不穩定。每學年結束后,大約有七分之一的教師會轉學或離職,而教師準備項目的進入人數也在穩步下降。


In Clark County – the nation’s fifth-largest school district, with about 330,000 students – classes resumed Aug. 24 with just over 400 vacant teaching positions – down from about 750 in July, according to a district spokesperson.

在克拉克縣(全國第五大學區,約有33萬名學生),據該學區發言人稱,8月24日開學,教師空缺從7月的750名下降到400多名。

As of mid-August, 21 of the 25 largest school districts in the country, including Clark County, had decided to start the year with remote learning only, according to Education Week research. But Clark County leaders will revisit the decision every 30 days, worrying immunocompromised educators like Leslie Stevenson.

據《教育周刊》的調查,截至8月中旬,美國25個最大的學區中,有21個,包括克拉克縣,已經決定在今年開始時只支持遠程教學。但克拉克縣的領導人每隔30天就會重新審視這個決定,這讓像萊斯利·史蒂文森這樣免疫系統受損的教育者感到擔憂。

She’s one of many teachers in Las Vegas who filed paperwork with the district to document their existing health conditions, in hopes of claiming a permanent remote assignment when students return to school in person. For Stevenson, the death to COVID-19 of Nick Cordero, a 41-year-old Broadway actor, made the disease feel like more of a threat.

她是拉斯維加斯許多向學區提交了書面文件,記錄自己目前的健康狀況,希望在學生們親自返校時獲得永久的遠程教育分配崗位的教師中的一位。對史蒂文森來說,41歲的百老匯演員尼克·科德羅死于新冠肺炎的消息,讓這種疾病更像是一種威脅了。

“He was a healthy, relatively young Caucasian male with money. I’m none of those things,” she said. “If he perished, why should I feel safe?”

“他是一個健康、相對年輕、有錢的白人男性。我不是那種人,”她說?!叭绻妓懒?,我憑什么會覺得安全?”

A risk of losing more ground

有丟失更多陣地的風險

In many places hit hardest by the pandemic, teacher shortages were already critical. In Mississippi, where some public health experts have warned that it’s too soon to return, almost two-thirds of the state’s school districts don’t have enough fully certified teachers or have so many at retirement age that they might not have enough in the near future, according to the state.

在受疫情影響最嚴重的許多地方,教師短缺問題已經十分嚴重。在密西西比州,一些公共衛生專家警告說,現在返校還為時過早,該州近三分之二的學區沒有足夠的合格教師,或者有太多達到退休年齡的教師,根據該州的說法,他們在不久的將來可能會人手不足。



If Wright is unable to hire enough special education teachers before school starts in September, he could reassign some general-education teachers to inclusion classrooms, or, as a “last-ditch effort,” find educators on a temporary license.

如果賴特不能在9月開學前雇傭到足夠多的特殊教育教師,他可以重新安排一些普通教育教師到新班級,或者,作為“最后的努力”,找一些持有臨時執照的教育工作者。

Hiring educators with temporary licenses, which usually means they haven’t gone through a teacher training program, is already common in Mississippi and throughout the South. The school systems Wright oversees have some of the highest percentages of provisionally licensed educators in the state.

在密西西比州和整個南部地區,聘用持有臨時執照的教育工作者已經很普遍。臨時執照通常意味著這些人沒有接受過教師培訓。賴特所監管的學校系統擁有全州最高比例的臨時執照教育者。

“We run the risk of our students losing more ground than gaining, if we don’t do this the right way,” Wright said.

“如果我們不采取正確的措施,我們的學生可能會失去更多,而不是獲得更多,”賴特說。

Risking lives for ‘near-poverty wages’

為了“接近貧困標準的工資”而冒生命危險

Substitute teachers have long been a Band-Aid in school districts desperate for teachers, but relying on subs can be bad for student achievement and now could add unexpected headaches.

在急需教師的學區,代課教師長期以來都是一種權宜之計,但依賴代課教師可能不利于學生的成績,現在還可能帶來意想不到的麻煩。


“We’re being asked to double if not triple the size of our talent pool just so the openings can be covered,” Soares said.

蘇亞雷斯說:“我們被要求將人才庫的規模擴大一倍,如果不是兩倍的話,這樣才能填補空缺?!?


Substitute teachers tend to have less training. In Nevada, substitutes need only 60 hours of college credit – not necessarily in education or the subject they’re teaching – to take the reins of a classroom. Also, because they also don’t receive paid sick days in many districts, they are often reluctant to stay home if they feel ill. And substitutes who move from school to school to cover for absent teachers could spread the coronavirus between buildings.

代課教師往往接受的培訓較少。在內華達州,代課老師只需要60個小時的大學學分——不一定是教育或他們所教的科目——就有可以掌控整個教室了。此外,由于在許多地區他們也沒有帶薪病假,所以如果他們生病了,往往不愿意呆在家里。而代課教師從一所學校到另一所學校去頂替缺席的老師,可能會在教學樓之間傳播冠狀病毒。



A threat of massive job losses

大量失業的威脅

Just how many students will start the new school year without a fully licensed teacher remains unclear. Before the pandemic, education experts and civil rights activists had long expressed outrage that the kids most at risk of falling behind are more likely to be taught by inexperienced or untrained teachers.

目前還不清楚有多少學生將在沒有正式教師的情況下開始新學年。在大流行之前,教育專家和民權活動人士一直對最有可能落后的孩子更有可能由經驗不足或未經培訓的教師來授課表示憤怒。



Some schools of education in Mississippi saw an uptick in enrollment last spring after the state waived and then eliminated the Praxis Core, an exam measuring content knowledge in reading, writing and math, and ended the requirement that prospective teachers earn a score of at least a 21 on the ACT. More than 100 members of a summer alternate-route teachers prep program at the state’s largest historically Black college, Jackson State University, have already signed contracts to teach this semester, administrators reported.

密西西比州的一些教育學校在去年春天放棄并取消了實踐核心課程(一項測試閱讀、寫作和數學知識的考試),并取消了未來教師在大學入學考試中至少得21分的要求后,入學人數出現了上升。管理人員稱,該州最大的黑人大學——杰克遜州立大學的一個夏季替代教師預備項目的100多名學員已經簽署了本學期的教學合同。



But Marguerite Roza, director of the Edunomics Lab, said teacher layoffs may dominate headlines over the next several months as districts spend down their cash reserves and states start axing their budgets.

但經濟學實驗室主任瑪格麗特·羅扎表示,教師裁員可能會成為未來幾個月的頭條新聞,因為各學區會削減現金儲備,各州也會開始削減預算。

“I actually think it could be as early as late fall – depending on when we get some clarity on federal money,” Roza said.

羅扎說:“實際上,我認為最早可能會在秋天晚些時候,這取決于我們什么時候能弄清楚聯邦資金的用途?!?

During the last recession, between 2008 and 2010, public schools shed more than 120,000 teaching positions, according to school finance expert Michael Griffith of the Learning Policy Institute. It would have been worse if the federal government had not extended nearly $100 billion in aid to schools: An additional 275,000 education jobs could have been lost.

學習政策研究所的學校財務專家邁克爾·格里菲斯表示,在上次的2008年至2010年經濟衰退期間,公立學校裁減了超過12萬個教師職位。如果此次聯邦政府不向學校提供近1000億美元的援助,情況可能會更糟:教育行業可能會失去27.5萬個工作崗位。

Griffith notes that K-12 budgets reached their lowest point in 2010, two years after the recession began. This time, he said, the reduction in state education budgets could be much deeper. “Without the intervention of the federal government, hundreds of thousands of teachers could lose their jobs,” he wrote.

格里菲斯指出,“12年教育”預算在經濟衰退開始兩年后的2010年達到了最低點。這一次,他說,國家教育預算的削減幅度可能會更大?!叭绻麤]有聯邦政府的干預,成千上萬的教師可能會失去工作,”他寫道。

In Washington, D.C., talks over another federal relief package and how much money to include for schools remain mired in partisan debate. Senate Republicans have pitched $70 billion for K-12 public and private schools, with much of it tied to conditions that they physically reopen. Democrats in the House of Representatives, meanwhile, included $58 billion for schools in the HEROES Act they passed in May. (Later, in June, Senate Democrats unveiled a separate proposal with $175 billion to help stabilize K-12 schools.)

在華盛頓特區,關于另一項聯邦救助計劃以及為學校提供多少資金的討論仍然陷入黨派之爭的泥潭中。參議院共和黨人已經為“12年教育”公立和私立學校撥款700億美元,其中大部分與實際開學條件有關。與此同時,眾議院的民主黨人在五月份通過的《英雄法案》中為學校撥款580億美元。(后來,在6月,參議院民主黨人公布了一項單獨的提案,用1750億美元幫助穩定“12年教育”學校。)

“I would like to think we could somehow find a way to avoid teacher layoffs … especially in the context of needing more adults to help with the major needs that kids will have when they come back,” said Katharine Strunk, a professor of education policy at Michigan State University. But, she added, “unless there’s a huge federal infusion of money – which there should be – districts will have to think about layoffs.”

密歇根州立大學教育政策教授凱瑟琳·斯特倫克說:“我認為我們可以找到一種方法來避免教師下崗……尤其是在孩子們返校后需要更多成年人幫助解決他們的主要需求的情況下?!钡?,她補充說,“除非有巨額的聯邦資金注入——這也是應該注入的——否則各地區將不得不考慮裁員?!?br />