Teacher Layoffs Could Have Valley Wide Impact - 8 News NOW

Teacher Layoffs Could Have Valley Wide Impact

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LAS VEGAS -- Teachers in the Las Vegas valley could lose their jobs in an effort to balance the budget, which has some people pointing out the deep impact that could have on everyone. Job losses by teachers don't just affect the teachers and their families, they affect the entire community, even creating unemployment in other industries.

Experts say for every dollar a teacher makes, about 60 cents of it goes back into the local economy. A new teacher with a college degree made at least $35,000 this year, which means $21,000 came back to the city and county in taxes and spending.

"The people who work for the Clark County School District will no longer have as much income to spend, so they'll stop buying things and that puts other people out of work," said Stephen Brown from the Center for Business & Economic Research.

Experts estimate that for every three CCSD employees who lose their jobs, someone else in a different industry will lose his job too. That means with 1,800 people in the district at risk for losing their jobs, 600 other Las Vegas workers will too.

Teachers also worry about student performance because of cuts. They told the school board Wednesday night they worry if any of those positions are cut students will suffer.

"If class sizes are increased and teachers and staff cut, who is going to have the time to help the students who has a language barrier or who just needs an extra push to help them keep up in class? We cannot afford to fail these kids -- they are our future, they deserve the best that we can give," said teacher Teri Schuman.

CCSD employees got cost of living raises in 2007 and 2008 along with STEP increases through last year. If the unions agree to the approved cuts, teacher and support staff salaries would freeze, but administrators would take a 1.5 percent salary cut.

While most CCSD employees will get to keep their jobs, they will have to pay 20 percent more in health insurance coverage. Many will also have to take up to eight furlough days.

The district will not know how many people it will need to layoff until the legislature ends because the budget will not be final until then.

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