Lack of Funds Lead To Downsizing of Local Government Employees

December 13, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. budget (n.) [buhj-it] –money intended for a specific purpose and period of time
     Example: Most of the family’s budget is used on food and rent.

2. quarter (n.) 
[kwawr-ter] – one-fourth of a year; three months

     Example:  We can expect colder weather next quarter.

3. constitute (v.) 
[kon-sti-toot, -tyoot] – to make up; to form

     Example: Smoke from cars and factories constitutes most of the pollution in the air.   

4. layoff (n.) 
[ley-awf, -of] – the act of ending the employment of a worker or group of workers

    Example: There are fewer layoffs when the economy is doing well.

5. depletion (n.) 
[dih-pleet] – the act of being  used up

    Example: Their savings were depleted after paying expensive hospital bills.

Read the text below.

Thousands of public school teachers in the US have lost their jobs as a tight fiscal budget for 2012 downsized local government work posts.

Jobs in local government in general have suffer
ed from the budget proposal but the education sector had the biggest percentage of job loss. In September alone, 24,400 positions were cut from public schools.

Although the national government reported an addition of 103,000 jobs in 2011, the loss in the public sector—a total of 267,000—cannot be ignored.

According to statistics for the recent quarter, the local government has the third largest employment loss with 90,000 people left jobless. Economist Greg Daco from IHS Global Insight explains that the education sector suffered the most because it constitutes 60% of the local government payroll.

One probable cause of this problem is the depletion of government aid given in 2009. This aid helped retain teaching jobs during the recession. However, by the end of this year, it will be completely used up. 

To prevent further layoffs, President Obama proposed an addition of 30 million dollars to the budget saving about 280,000 teachers from unemployment. However, this may not help much since more budget cuts are expected. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A

·         What do you think would happen if there were no teachers?
·         Do you think teachers are given importance nowadays? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think it is difficult for a person to find a job?
·         What do you think are the factors in finding a good job?

December 13, 2011