Layoffs hit nearly 3 percent of teachers in New York this year, according to a survey released Tuesday by the state Council of School Superintendents.
That translates into more than 7,000 teacher layoffs, said Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers union. Another 4,000 unfilled positions were eliminated.
More than 4 percent of school administrators also were laid off.
The union and the superintendents blame Albany. They cite this year's rare cut in state aid after two years of flat spending and a new law capping local property tax growth that takes effect in the spring.
"You are definitely seeing a greater impact of real layoffs," Iannuzzi said, "and I think one of the reasons for that is that just about all the contraction that could take place has already taken place."
The state has about 222,000 classroom teachers.
Besides the teacher layoffs, the superintendents' survey found nearly 2 percent of teacher jobs were lost to attrition or retirement, contributing to two-thirds of districts saying class sizes are larger this year. The survey also found another 3 percent of administration jobs that were vacant were cut.
Overall, 80 percent of school districts reported cutting teaching positions, according to the survey.
"New York state's schools absorbed one of the largest aid cuts in state history this year, but the reduction in state support has been going on for three years now and it is clearly taking a toll on school districts across the state," said Robert Reidy, executive director of the superintendents' group.
The online survey includes responses in August and September from 283 superintendents outside the Big Five districts: New York City, Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. There are about 700 school districts statewide.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had secured the first cut in school aid in decades after flat funding in the previous two years during the state's fiscal crisis. Cuomo insisted schools could cut waste without harming instruction and specifically targeted growing administration costs.
"The schools and school districts chose to make these reductions in the classroom rather than dip into their reserves, cut back on the bureaucracy or reduce the growing number of administrators," Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said in response to the report.
Additional findings in the "At the Edge" survey include:
— 66 percent of districts reported they also cut teaching positions in the 2009-10 school year.
— 47 percent cut or deferred purchases of computers and other educational technology.
— Nearly 90 percent of superintendents are "troubled" by their reliance on reserves to pay for recurring costs.
— Job cuts were most severe in rural and urban districts.
— About 67 percent of superintendents took salary freezes or cuts in pay or benefits, and concessions are being granted by other unionized employees.
As part of the 3.5 percent cut in state school aid, Cuomo and the Legislature agreed to an $800 million increase in the state's school aid for the 2012-13 fiscal year. But even that could be in doubt, Cuomo noted last week, as revenues slow.
Three percent to 7 percent annual increases in local school budgets were common before the fiscal crisis, even in hard fiscal times. But the state's $20 billion in annual school aid remains billions of dollars behind the state's commitment under a high court ruling that found the state underfunded schools for decades. New York per-pupil spending is among the nation's highest.
School districts also will be squeezed this year at the local end: Cuomo and the Legislature adopted a 2 percent cap on the growth in local property taxes, unless residents override the cap with a 60 percent vote.
The state Department of Education doesn't track layoffs or job losses.