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.
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: