Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tampa Bay Times
Are schools spending their resources in the most effective way possible? Not with all the bloat in the non-instructional ranks of schools across the country, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice suggests in its latest report, The School Staffing Surge
In the paper, the organization notes that student enrollment grew 96 percent between 1950 and 2009, while full-time school staffing rose by 386 percent. That's a 252 percent increase of teachers, and a 702 percent rise in administrators and other staff.
Nationally, it shows 17 percent growth of students and 46 percent rise in non-instructional staff. Florida experienced a 36 percent jump in enrollment over that time, and a 41 percent increase in non-instructional staff. Florida's teaching staff rose by 70 percent. That includes the time frame when Florida implemented its class-size reduction effort, and also did see improved test results on NAEP, but not on others such as SAT.
The authors contend that the higher levels of staffing did not lead to improved academic performance, and suggest that the money could be better spent on teacher salaries, better early education programs, vouchers, or even tax relief. Could your schools get by with fewer administrators and non-instructional staff?