New AASA Survey Finds 275,000 Education Jobs in Peril

May 4, 2010

Kitty Porterfield

ARLINGTON, Va. - School administrators across the nation are faced with the possible reality of eliminating an unprecedented number of teaching jobs for the 2010-11 school year, according to a new snapshot survey of school superintendents released today by the American Association of School Administrators. School districts face a one-two punch of a tight economic environment at the state and local levels and the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars, which were instrumental in saving jobs in 2009.

AASA administered the new study, Projection of National Education Job Cuts for the 2010-11 School Year, to document state-by-state the prospect of personnel cuts for the coming 2010-11 school year. The new survey was in part triggered by AASA’s most recent economic impact survey, Cliff Hanger: How America’s Public Schools Continue to Feel the Impact of the Economic Downturn, which found that students and school systems across the nation are facing serious challenges as a result of the economic downturn, including the prospect of job cuts.

The new study, based on responses from 1,479 school administrators in 49 states received in April 2010, finds that 82 percent of districts will cut or eliminate 27,516 education jobs in 2010-11 and 53 percent will freeze hiring. Based on these survey results, AASA estimates that the national total for education jobs cuts will be 275,000 in 2010-11, representing 92 percent of the 300,000 jobs saved by ARRA.

According to Dr. Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute, every 100,000 education jobs lost translated into roughly 30,000 jobs lost in other sectors due to reduced spending by schools and those laid off. Collectively, then, 275,000 education job cuts will translate into an additional 82,000 job losses in other sectors, bringing the total job losses to 357,000.

”This survey complements the results of our latest economic impact survey to truly illustrate that schools have yet to feel the economic relief and stability that is appearing in other sectors,” said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. “Faced with continued budgetary constraints, school leaders across the nation are forced to consider an unprecedented level of layoffs that would negatively impact economic recovery and deal a devastating blow to public education.With both houses of Congress already considering a second round of stimulus funding targeted to education jobs, the results of this survey make a startling case to bolster support for additional federal funding.”

“When schools open their doors this fall, more than 48 million students will be there for their education, regardless of any federal action to stave off education job cuts,” said AASA President Mark Bielang, superintendent in Paw Paw, Mich. “The results of the survey — coupled with the broad, quick response from superintendents in 49 states — should be a clear call to action for Congress and the administration for continued federal support to help school districts stem the tide of the economic downturn.”

AASA Economic Impact Studies
The new study will be posted on the AASA website at on May 4. The AASA Economic Impact Study series is available at

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit