Vote prevents teacher layoffs that were never going to happen

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., explained her vote for the $26.1 billion state bailout by arguing that there were “3,000 teachers in Washington State who are right now in limbo.”

But no, there weren’t.

A survey of districts conducted by the state Professional Educators Standards Board found that just 445 teachers statewide received reduction-in-force letters last spring. Since then, many, if not most, have been recalled for the approaching school year. In Sumner, for example, 16 RIF letters were sent out. All but one have been rescinded.”

And you know what? They still have to cut the state’s budget.

We’ve already seen it in Arkansas and a few other states, so this comes as no surprise. All of those teachers facing layoffs — they were never facing layoffs. They became classic state budgetary rhetorical devices in a game normally used to raise taxes. You can’t wring tax increases out of voters or give your congressional delegation cover for a union bailout if you tell them the truth — that there are 1,000 things you can cut before you start laying off teachers and firefighters or releasing violent inmates.

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