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New Study Finds 21 States Have More Nonteachers Than Teachers In Public Schools

Posted: 5/22/2013

Some states have more school administrators than teachers
Some states have more school administrators than teachers.

(NAPSI)—Although parents may think those running public schools exist primarily to hire teachers, a new report found that, in 21 states, bureaucracy actually outnumbers those teaching children. And while nonteaching staff has surged, academic outcomes have stagnated.

The study, released by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, analyzes states’ hiring practices between 1992 and 2009, using data from the U.S. Department of Education. “The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools, Part II” is a follow-up to a 2012 study by the Friedman Foundation that also examined hiring practices in public schools.

The report calls 21 states “top heavy” for having more nonteaching personnel on payroll than teachers in 2009: Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Louisiana, Wyoming, Vermont, Utah, Georgia, Alaska, New Hampshire, Iowa and the District of Columbia, which is treated as a state in the report.

Virginia had the most excess personnel outside the classroom, with 60,737 more nonteaching staff than teachers, followed by Ohio, with 19,040 more nonteaching personnel than teachers.

“In many states, teachers have endured ever-growing class sizes or have not had a raise in years,” Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation, said. “If that money had been spent more effectively, great teachers could have had raises or children could have been offered scholarships to attend the schools of their choice.”

The new report also found that states could have saved $24 billion annually if they had adjusted the employment of nonteaching staff to the changes in student population from 1992 to 2009. During that time period, the number of students in public schools increased 17 percent while the number of administrators and nonteaching staff increased 46 percent.

In Texas alone, taxpayers would have saved almost $6.4 billion annually if public schools’ nonteaching personnel had not outpaced its growth in students.

“Public schools have become employment centers—and not necessarily to provide hands-on education for children,” said Ben Scafidi, an economist at Georgia College & State University and a senior fellow at the Friedman Foundation, who wrote the report. “Many of these jobs do not result in improved student learning.”

Scafidi points out that during the same time period as the growth in nonteaching personnel, high school graduation rates peaked around 1970 and scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress were flat or in decline between 1992 and 2009.

Number of Nonteaching Staff In Excess Of Teachers, FY 2009

Virginia                                   60,737

Ohio                                        19,040

Michigan                                 18,550

Indiana                                    16,643

Kentucky                                 13,315

Mississippi                                 5,334

Colorado                                    5,182

Oregon                                       4,802

Maine                                         4,635

Minnesota                                  3,056

Nebraska                                    2,928                                               

Mexico                                       2,200

Louisiana                                    2,119

Wyoming                                    1,841

Vermont                                      1,838

Utah                                            1,743

District of Columbia                    1,489

Georgia                                       1,461

Alaska                                         1,306

New Hampshire                             586

Iowa                                               428

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2010 Digest of Education Statistics, Table 87; Author’s Calculations


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