Any business major should probably be able to define LIFO and FIFO. These letters stand for “Last in First Out” and “First in First Out”. They are usually associated with how inventory is handled. For example, if you had produce on a truck, and you dealt with it in a LIFO method, that means the last produce put on the truck would be first to come off of the truck. That would probably not be good of a method in that situation because the produce put on first would get rotten. So in that instance, FIFO would be a better system…First on the truck, first off the truck so that the inventory would stay fresh.
LIFO is now a term you may be hearing when schools are considering laying off teachers. In other words, last teachers hired would be the first teachers fired. CNN reported, “A wave of layoffs will likely happen this summer…StudentsFirst.org, calculates that at least 160,000 teachers are at risk of losing their jobs. What makes this even tougher on kids is that the majority of the country’s states and school districts conduct layoffs using an antiquated policy referred to as “last in, first out.” The policy mandates that the last teachers hired are the first teachers fired, regardless of how good they are. As it stands now, teachers’ impact on students plays absolutely no role in these decisions.”
In the produce example, using FIFO made sense for the sake of product freshness. In the example of how to decide educator layoffs, schools may be choosing LIFO for reasons of fairness to those who have put in their time. However, does being on the job for extended periods of time, make the employee a better employee? Michelle Rhee, author of the CNN article, thinks not. Rhee launched StudentsFirst to defend children’s’ rights in schools. “StudentsFirst formed in 2010 in response to an increasing demand for a better education system in America.” For more information about StudentsFirst, click here.