Employment of grown-ups outpacing enrollment of children

October 24, 2012

A new study of school personnel released today by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice lends credence to the oft-cited observation that public education is a jobs program for grown-ups. According to the study, “America’s public schools saw a 96 percent increase in students but increased administrators and other non-teaching staff a staggering 702 percent since 1950.”

This trend has continued in recent years too. In Oklahoma, student enrollment increased 10 percent from 1992 to 2009—while administrators and other non-teaching staff increased 28 percent.

The report, “The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America's Public Schools,” was written by economist Ben Scafidi using data from the National Center for Education Statistics. You may recall Dr. Scafidi from the July issue of Perspective (“School Choice Improves School Districts’ Fiscal Health”), in which he provided clear thinking on public education’s “fixed costs” in Oklahoma and showed how school choice actually saves taxpayers money.