A report presented last week to the Kansas State Board of Education, based on information collected in February, showed dramatic increases in teacher retirements and layoffs during the past two years, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. More than 1,500 teachers retired in the 2010-11 school year, compared with an annual range of 1,028 to 1,092 over the four previous years, according to the report. Reductions in force totaled 350 this school year and 260 last year, compared with the previous three years’ reductions of 49, 21 and 7. State board chairman David Dennis of Wichita attributed the retirements and layoffs to funding cuts, low pay and a push by GOP leaders to switch the state’s pension to a 401(k)-style plan. “There are a tremendous number of attacks going on against teachers today,” Dennis said. He added: “If I was in college right now looking at what I want to do with the rest of my life, I am not sure I would choose teaching as a profession.”
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