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New Education Hires Enough to Make Up Difference?

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — After years of record layoffs, it’s back to school for many teachers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this summer saw nearly 80,000 school jobs added in the country between July and September, many of them in teaching. It was the largest hiring by school districts since 2006.

Dr. Linda Davis-Delano is the Director of Education Preparation and Licensure at Springfield College. She’s happy with that figure but says it has to be kept in perspective.

“It’s a start because so many positions have been cut,” said Davis-Delano. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 300,000 thousand education jobs were lost between August 2008 and August 2011 alone.

“The trend in the last ten years quite frankly has been in the downward direction,” said Davis-Delano. “It always takes at least that long to get back where you’d like to be.”

To complicate matters, the government projects student enrollment to keep rising at least through 2020.

With over 30 years in education, Davis-Delano has seen a lot of trends come and go. She said the approach that would work best for the future is smaller classrooms.

“Especially knowing that the economy is not that stable, I can’t imagine we’ll have all the positions restored and added as the student populations grows,” said Davis-Delano.

To make American schools competitive, she said the ideal teacher- student ratio would be one to ten.

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