Big Labor Abuses Leading to Big Teacher Layoffs

Forced-Dues States' Past and Projected Publish K-12 School Enrollment
Parents and schoolkids’ flight to Right to Work states is driving huge enrollment declines in forced-dues states.

Teacher Employment Outlook Much Better in Right to Work States

Largely as a consequence of the gross mismanagement of K-12 government schools by Big Labor politicians acting at the behest of teacher union bosses, school enrollment in many forced-dues states has plummeted in recent years. And there is every reason to believe enrollment in these same states will continue dropping rapidly for years to come. 

Big Labor-dominated California is one extreme case. According to the latest estimates furnished by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a federal agency, by the fall of 2031, public school enrollment in the Golden State will be 20.0%, or 1.25 million, lower than it was in the fall of 2019.

Over the same period, in union-label New York, K-12 public school enrollment is projected to plunge by 507,000, or 18.8%.

Enrollments are also expected to fall steeply in many other union boss-controlled states, including Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Thanks to unprecedented federal largesse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, these states have, in recent years, actually increased their K-12 staffing levels despite falling enrollments.

Unfortunately for them, the excess funding stream from Washington runs out this summer. A fiscal day of reckoning will soon be at hand.

Over the Next 2-3 Years, Government School TeachingJobs Could Fall by 136,000

Government school bureaucrats in California and New York commonly cite the nationwide “baby bust” that began in 2008 and more recent surges in home and private schooling as the causes of their states’ tumbling enrollments. These are real, but secondary factors.

In forced-unionism states as a group, government primary and secondary school enrollment is projected by the NCES to plunge by 13.4% between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2031.

That’s a nearly 600% greater decline than the relatively modest, “baby bust”- driven projected drop for Right to Work states in the aggregate.

And enrollment is actually projected to increase in several Right to Work states, including Florida, Idaho, North and South Dakota and Utah.

Nationwide, over the next two to three years, the combination of declining enrollment and budget shortfalls “could easily result in 136,000 fewer teaching jobs,” according to Chad Aldeman, the policy director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University.

Since Big Labor stronghold states were far more apt to use federal COVID-19 “relief” money to hire additional K-12 employees, and are now suffering outsized enrollment declines, the vast majority of the coming layoffs will almost inevitably occur in states where teacher union bosses are most powerful.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb commented:

“Union bosses and their apologists routinely claim that state laws authorizing union monopoly bargaining in the government sector ‘benefit’ teachers and other public servants.

“But the fact is that the counterproductive policies foisted on schools by teacher union chiefs, such as medically unwarranted COVID-19 school lockdowns that kept tens of millions of kids out of the classroom for a year or more, are driving away schools’ ‘customer base’ in state after state.

“Over the next few years, the massive out-migration of parents and school-aged children from Big Labor states like California and New York to Right to Work states like Utah, Idaho and Florida will inevitably translate into far fewer jobs for unionized teachers.”

Repeal of Monopoly-Bargaining Laws Would Benefit Teachers As Well as Schoolchildren

The best way for public K-12 educators in states with sweeping monopoly bargaining laws to counter the threat posed to their careers by plummeting enrollment is to band together with reform-minded parents and other taxpayers in supporting a rollback of union bosses’ special privileges.

“The fact is, even though they don’t work for private businesses, over time public school teachers do have a strong interest in meeting the needs of parents and schoolchildren,” said Mr. Kalb.

“Big Labor-dominated schools have never been successful at this task, and they have gotten worse and worse at it in recent years.

“That’s why educators, just like everyone else, have a strong stake in the complete elimination of monopoly bargaining by teacher unions, which was done in Arkansas three years ago with Committee support.

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.

To support our cause and help end forced unionism, go here to donate.

NRTW Home » News » Big Labor Abuses Leading to Big Teacher Layoffs