Education Secretary Cautions Districts About Layoffs
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Arne Duncan, the federal secretary of education, urged state and local authorities to avoid short-sighted decisions as they cut school budgets, and said laying off teachers based solely on seniority was “a wrong way to cut spending.” Fourteen states, including New York, ban districts from considering any factor but seniority in layoffs. This often results in layoffs of young teachers. Teachers’ unions say, however, that laying off by seniority prevents struggling districts from removing more experienced and higher-paid teachers.