Alabama likely to lose nearly 3,000 education jobs

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's top school official has informed Congress the state's public schools will have nearly 3,000 fewer employees next year because of the sluggish economy.

The Birmingham News reports that state Superintendent Joe Morton told Congress Wednesday that the reduced staffing will also threaten education reform efforts.

Morton surveyed the state's 132 public school districts earlier this week and found plans to lay off 2,827 people based on the 2011 education budget approved by the Legislature.

At the same time, Morton said, the student population will rise by 1,781.

Morton was testifying in Washington before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about education funding. Congress is considering an extension of the stimulus law that specifically targets education-related jobs.