On Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he misspoke when he tried to scare the American people a week before the sequester hit last Friday by claiming the across-the-board cuts would force school districts to give teachers “pink slips.”
“There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall,” Duncan said on CBS’ Face the Nation the weekend before the sequester.
Duncan backtracked after the Washington Post debunked his claims. Duncan “specifically mentioned the Kanawha County school district in West Virginia as an example of a school that had begun firing staff because of the sequester,” but district officials there said jobs were set to be eliminated regardless of the sequester.
In addition, the publication found that nearly all of the country’s school districts would not be hit by the sequester.
“Because I wasn’t as clear, the spotlight was put on me and that’s never ever my goal,” Duncan said. “My goal here is to have the spotlight be on children and families, so when I said ‘pink slips’ that was probably the wrong word,” he added. “I should’ve used ‘job eliminations,’ ‘positions eliminated.'”