New figures released from the Maryland Department of Education indicate that there has been more than a 10 percent decline in new teacher hires for the 2010-11 school year. The Gazette reports :
“Being in an economic downturn, we’re retaining our teachers. People are not as apt to up and leave the system or retire, and so therefore we have less attrition,” said Amber Waller, an at-large school board member for Prince George’s County.
For 2009-10, 3,463.5 teachers were hired in Maryland’s 24 public school districts, compared with 2,991.5 teachers for the upcoming year, including full and part-time teachers, according to the state Department of Education statistics. This represents a 13.6 percent decline. Prince George’s County Public Schools experienced the most dramatic drop-off in hiring — from 663 new teachers hired as of mid-August last year to 220 this year, a decrease of about two-thirds.
While a number of school systems throughout the state continue to deal with budget cuts, decreases in employment opportunities, and increases in class sizes; Baltimore County has witnessed an increase in their new teacher hires.
Baltimore County Public Schools, one of the state’s largest systems, hired 361.5 teachers for the upcoming school year, compared with 244 teachers for 2009-10, according to the state statistics. In addition, despite the security that a teacher’s job often provides, the projected number of new teachers needed jumped from 300 to 500 in Baltimore County, while the number of students is projected to remain flat from last year to 2010-11 at about 104,100.Baltimore County schools are in good shape financially, having not eliminated any teacher positions this year while implementing cost-of-living increases for teachers, said Charles Herndon, a spokesman for the school system. At the same time, the large number of teachers on the East Coast who have been laid off recently has created a larger applicant pool, he said.