Decline in pupils, funds idling 44,000 US teachers

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Forty-four thousand teachers -- victims of playoffs due to declining enrollment and fiscal problems -- won't be going back to school this year, says the American Federation of Teachers. An AFT survey shows Massachusetts the hardest hit, with pink slips for 7,500 teachers. Other states reporting major layoffs include: Pennsylvania, 4,000; Ohio, 3,000; Illinois, 2,700; and Wisconsin and Louisiana 2,500 each.

Other teachers will postpone the time they go back to school, engaging in strikes. The National Education Association estimates the number of strikes expected this year -- 150 to 200 -- is about the average number for the past eight years.

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