Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered a mea culpa of sorts Monday, saying that he misspoke on national television last week when he said that teachers were already losing jobs as a result of the budget sequester.
“When I said ‘pink slips’ that was probably the wrong word,” Duncan told reporters at a news conference related to the sequester. “Language matters, and I need to be very, very clear.”
In discussing the cuts to federal aid to schools on “Face the Nation” last Sunday, Duncan said “there are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.”
Most of the country’s 15,000 school districts will not feel the effects of the cuts, which took effect in March, until next school year.
At the White House last Wednesday, Duncan was pressed to identify districts that have begun laying off staff. He singled out Kanawha County, a community in West Virginia.