Of all the recent budget cuts made by the Eagle County, Colo., school district—the loss of 89 staff jobs through attrition and layoffs, a 1.5 percent across-the-board pay cut, and the introduction of three furlough days—none sparked as much anger or faced the same scrutiny as the decision to cut three foreign-language teaching positions and replace them with online instruction.
At a spring school board meeting, supporters of the targeted programs in French and German, as well as the affected teachers, railed against the 6,200-student district for replacing face-to-face instructors with a digital option they argued would not be as rich or as meaningful.
The highly charged response reflects the fear many teachers are beginning to feel that technology could push them out of their jobs, especially in an era of persistently tight budgets. Emerging management models that rely on a smaller number of highly paid teachers supported by new technology and a larger roster of relatively low-paid paraprofessionals are also fueling such fears. (Ian Quillen at Education Week)