Survey: Three-fourths of school districts cut jobs

Three-fourths of Indiana school districts eliminated jobs this year as a result of reductions in state education funding, according to a survey by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University.

Of the districts that cut jobs, 88 percent eliminated teaching positions. Eighty-four percent eliminated non-certified staff, a category that includes service and maintenance employees and instructional assistants.

The online Survey on School Corporation Financial Management Issues was conducted between June 23 and July 23 by CEEP in partnership with the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and the Indiana School Boards Association. Some 204 of Indiana’s 292 school superintendents answered the survey, a 70 percent response rate.

Terry Spradlin, CEEP’s associate director for education policy, presented the results Aug. 30 to the Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on the School Funding Formula. The survey provides a snapshot of how Indiana schools are responding to the sluggish economy and, in particular, to Gov. Mitch Daniels’ decision in December 2009 to reduce school funding by $297 million this year.

More than half the districts said in the survey that they expect to cut jobs in 2011-12. The survey was conducted before Congress approved legislation that provides Indiana with $207 million Continue reading