The Friedman Foundation for Economic Choice recently released a study that showed the amount of administrators (non-teachers) in the K-12 public education system has increased over 700 percent since 1950, while the amount of students has increased by only 96 percent.
The number of full time employees in the public system has increased 386 percent since 1950. Of these full time employees, the number of teachers has increased 252 percent, while the number of administrators increased 700 percent–more than seven times the increase in the amount of students.
But is the increase in funding for public education administrators and teachers really helping students?
A 2011 study by the House Committee on Education & the Workforce reported that spending has tripled on K-12 education since 1970 with zero impact on student test scores.
We spent over $151,000 per student sending the graduating class of 2009 through public schools. That is nearly three times as much as we spent on the graduating class of 1970, adjusting for inflation. Despite that massive real spending increase, overall achievement has stagnated or declined, depending on the subject.
Despite the significant increase in public funding, reading and math scores have remained stagnant since 1970, and science scores have declined.
Not all school districts have had the same issue. Washington, D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarships Program (OSP) is a grant program that allows families to send their children to a school of their choice. The Department of Education noted that students engaged in this program had equal or greater test scores than children enrolled in public schools across the nation–at a quarter of the cost.
I discussed this report on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. Monday morning: