Tag: Female

How slashed state budgets affect female teachers and public schools

  • Women, especially teachers, are carrying much of the financial burden as states slash budgets and education spending during the pandemic.
  • June Carbone, Nancy Levit, and Naomi Cahn are law professors tracking how the pandemic is affecting women and contributing to inequality in all types of industries, from public schools to hedge funds.
  • They found that the percentage of women working as K-12 teachers is growing, but the diminishing education budget is leading to lower pay and fewer promotions and leadership opportunities. 
  • Providing government assistance to states — also known as countercyclical assistance — and advocating for more federal control over state budgets could help public schools and teachers pull through. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

States are seeing enormous budget shortfalls because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the consequences for teachers and other public school employees could be dire. At least 640,000 education jobs in state and local government vanished between February and August 2020.

The states, which provide an average of about 47% of US public school funding, are cutting school spending because their tax revenue is declining and they have no easy recourse to balance their budgets; unlike the federal government, states can’t just print money.

Negotiations continue around another pandemic relief bill, which would include money for states to spend on public education. But lawmakers have passed no measures since May, when the House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill that stalled in the Senate.

We study families, employment, corporations — and gender. We are tracking how the coronavirus pandemic is underscoring the disproportionate financial burden women bear when states slash their budgets in times of recession.

Without sufficient federal aid, recessions have historically prompted job losses, pay cuts, and high turnover that burden school districts for years. Because most public school teachers are women, they are affected more.

We are examining this issue and others more deeply in a book we are writing called “Shafted: The Fate of Women in a Winner-Take-All World.” It explores the jobs women do from public schools to Walmart or hedge funds and demonstrates that the forces that have produced a highly unequal economy have undermined women’s well-being.

What we’ve found so far is that women in almost every field have lagged behind men in pay, promotions, and leadership opportunities. And in K-12 schools, this issue can appear starkly.

The government’s role

Historically, the federal government has implemented policies aimed at keeping the economy afloat during recessions.

During the Great Recession, for example, the 2009 stimulus package included money that cushioned the impact of the recession on the states. Economists largely agree that the policy worked. The spending bolstered state budgets, helping to prevent massive layoffs and prompt the start of a recovery.

Nationwide, education spending averages about 30% of state budgets, with two-thirds of the funds supporting K-12 education. More specifically, the average state expenditures are 21% on elementary and secondary education and 10% on higher education.

After Republicans swept Congress in 2010, however, the

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Female lawmakers, officials call for more women at all levels of government to improve equity

Female lawmakers on Wednesday called for more women in all levels of government to improve gender equity.

Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsTrump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report Races heat up for House leadership posts GOP leader says he doesn’t want Chamber’s endorsement: ‘They have sold out’ MORE (D-Kan.) and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stressed the importance of including women in leadership roles at The Hill’s The Century of the Woman summit.

“We have to be making sure that we’re really pushing forward on that progress to make sure that women have all the opportunities available to us in this society in our country,” Davids told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.

Solis added that gender equity “makes sure that we have to educate, not just women, but our male counterparts because they’re the ones that still dominate in many positions of power.”

Women hold just under 24 percent of the 535 seats in Congress. At the state level, women occupy almost 29 percent of the 311 elected positions for top posts.

While the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote 100 years ago and more women are holding public office than before, many women still face barriers inside and outside the workplace, such as unequal pay and sexual harassment.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoHillicon Valley: Judge’s ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading ‘falsehoods’ On The Money: Biden releases 2019 tax returns hours before first debate | COVID relief talks hit do-or-die moment | Disney to layoff 28K workers The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden, Trump to face off in Cleveland MORE and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (R) both talked about the sacrifices women have to make if they decide to take on leadership positions.

“Many women are reluctant to step up because they don’t have the support at home that they need,” said Price. “I think we have to figure out how to provide more support for women who do want to serve in public office.”

“I try to advise young women that when they make these inevitable life trade-offs that they know they’re making them,” said Chao added. “What’s really sad is someone made choices without understanding that they were permanent choices.”

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