US Schools Are Now Bracing For Painful Layoffs

US schools are now bracing for painful layoffs across the United States as pandemic aid packages come to an end.

Schools across the country are announcing teacher and staff layoffs as districts brace for the end of a pandemic aid package that delivered the largest one-time federal investment in K-12 education, reports CNN.

The funds must be used by the end of September, creating a sharp funding cliff as schools also struggle with widespread enrollment declines and inflation.

Many districts have warned of layoffs as the current school year comes to a close and next year’s budgets are planned.

In Missoula, Montana, for example, the public school district is considering cutting 33 teaching positions and 13 administrative positions, including its special education director and fine arts director, as it faces a budget shortfall.

“The last time that MCPS (Missoula County Public Schools) saw these types of reductions was almost a generation ago,” superintendent Micah Hill said at a school board meeting earlier this year.

Not only is the federal funding ending, but enrollment at the district’s schools has fallen by nearly 500 students – or roughly 5% – since 2019.

At the same time, the district is facing rising insurance and utility costs, Hill said in a statement sent to CNN.

In Arlington, Texas, the public school district will cut 275 positions at the end of this school year that were funded by the federal pandemic aid funds.

They include staff that helped provide after-school care, tutoring and mental health services.

The district, which employs about 8,500 staff in total, has said that employees affected by the layoffs can apply to other available positions.

And in Hartford, Connecticut, 30 teachers and 79 other staff members have been notified that they have lost their jobs. In total, about 384 positions will be cut, though some of them were already vacant and others won’t be filled after a staff member retires or leaves.

Enrollment at Hartford Public Schools is down 21% since 2010 due to a decline in the school-age population and a policy that allows Hartford residents to enroll at schools in neighboring districts.

“That is a long-term problem that has been exacerbated by the ESSER cliff,” superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said in a statement sent to CNN.

ESSER, or Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, refers to the grant program that provided the federal pandemic-related relief funds.

How many teacher layoffs will occur this year?

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.

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Also Read: A Giant Company Now Announces Unexpected Layoffs in Virginia

US School Districts Brace for Massive Teacher Layoffs.

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Market News Today - US Schools Are Now Bracing For Painful Layoffs.
Market News Today – US Schools Are Now Bracing For Painful Layoffs.

A medical company now warns of unexpected layoffs in California amid an ongoing industry slump, per several reports.

Pacific Biosciences said last week that it will lay off about 195 employees, or nearly 25% of its workforce, as part of a plan to reduce operating expenses.

Among those affected in the workforce reduction are 71 employees in Menlo Park, California, where the company is based, and 108 employees at a facility in San Diego that is slated for closure, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letters filed with the state’s Employment Development Department.

Both actions are effective June 28.

Pacific Biosciences, which sells gene sequencing equipment, announced the layoffs on Thursday along with its first-quarter results, reporting a net loss of $78.2 million and flat revenue growth.

The company’s results were hurt by weaker-than-expected instrument placements and soft consumables utilization, Kyle Mikson, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, wrote in a Friday note to investors.

Mikson believes the company can re-accelerate revenue growth and reduce its cash burn.

The job cuts come amid an industry-wide slowdown in laboratory equipment purchasing.

The reductions affect nearly all functions within the company, Pacific Biosciences executives said on an earnings call.

Some consumables manufacturing for reagents and flow cells was consolidated from San Diego to Menlo Park during the quarter to lower production costs.

Business directors and managers, engineers, scientists and IT professionals were among the positions impacted, according to the letters filed with the state.

Several employees in the San Diego office are receiving relocation offers to the Menlo Park office, where the company plans to consolidate much of its research and development work, Pacific Biosciences spokesperson Todd Friedman said in an email.

The remaining affected employees work remotely across the U.S. and the globe, Friedman added.

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Also Read: An Unexpected Retailer Is Now Closing All Stores in Illinois

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