Monday, August 10, 2009

Student Teacher Ratio: 3 to 1 at the margin

It's true. And you wonder why costs are rising. From our good friend over at Education Intelligence Agency:
1) 60,000 New Students and 20,000 New Teachers: Results from the Census Bureau School Finances Report. Each year the U.S. Census Bureau publishes a comprehensive report on public school revenues and expenditures. Figures for each of the nation's more than 14,000 school districts and local education agencies are available for dissection and digestion. The release of the latest report, Public Education Finances: 2007, was delayed for several months, but it turned out to be well worth the wait.

I will ultimately compile tables consisting of student enrollment, number of full-time equivalent K-12 teachers, per-pupil spending, amount per-pupil spent on employee compensation, and the changes in all those figures over the last five years, for every public school district in America. This, as you might imagine, will take some time, but putting together a state-level table of those statistics was quick work. I have
posted the table on the EIA web site.

In the 2006-07 school year 48,441,473 students were taught by 3,142,202 full-time equivalent teachers (the NEA estimate for that year comes to 3,174,354 actual warm bodies). That was an increase of 2.7% and 5%, respectively, from the 2001-02 school year. But if you
compare the numbers from the previous year, you get a better sense of where we're headed and why the current teacher layoffs are an inevitable result of years of profligate hiring.

The entire United States public school system enrolled only 60,966 more students in 2006-07, yet it hired 20,564 more teachers. Twenty-six states showed a decline in student enrollment, but only 14 had fewer teachers than the year before.

With more payroll chasing a flattening number of students, it's no surprise to discover that per-pupil spending rose a healthy 5.8% in 2006-07, and the amount spent on employee salaries and benefits increased 5.9%. The nation's public school employee compensation bill came to $382.5 billion.

The United States average for per-pupil spending was $9,666 and 16 states spent more than $10,000 per student. It bears mentioning that while the California Teachers Association spent much of the year complaining the state was
ranked 47th in education spending, the Census Bureau figures show California ranked 22nd, at $9,152. That was a 7.8% increase from the previous year.

The district-level numbers are sure to provide more fascinating numbers, but I've already discovered something that leaves me speechless: In 2006-07 it would have been cheaper to take the 4,257 students in the Asbury Park and Hoboken City school districts in New Jersey and enroll them all in
Sidwell Friends.


Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to reviewing this information. Would you please present it before the Board, so they do not have to spend more of my money compiling all their own reports. Well maybe they will anyways to try to contradict your information which I am sure can be well supported by the facts.

Anonymous said...

You have to love tab 8 of the State extract that shows 84% of Ohio public school funding goes to Salaries/Wages and Benefits. Does anyone know what tab Becky's three raises is on?

All for the kids!

Maximum Compensation for Every Employee.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon,

Please go bfore board yourself, but forewarning, condense best can. u only have 5 mins. and yes it is timed/ B strong, trust me it is time for people to speak up. FYI the board allows 30 minutes for public session at 5 mins each