Where Does School Money Go? Not To Teachers, Study Shows
North American Precis Syndicate
If parents had a greater say in where education money goes, teachers and students would both be better off, a professor contends. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—There are a little over 3 million teachers in America’s
public schools and for the majority of them, interacting with children is the
best part of the job. That’s just as well, since for too many, salary
and working conditions are pretty poor.
In fact, for more than 20 years, teacher salaries have not even been
keeping up with the cost of inflation. According to a recent report by
Benjamin Scafidi, Ph.D., a professor of economics
at Kennesaw State University, there’s been a great Teacher Salary Stagnation
and between 1992 and 2014, real average salaries for public school teachers
actually fell by 2 percent.
Where The Money Went
While spending on education has risen in many states, instead of
increasing teacher salaries, the public schools added personnel at a rate
almost four times that of student enrollment growth—and these new hires
were disproportionately nonteachers.
If this increase in “other staff” had matched student
enrollment growth, the schools would have saved almost $35 billion a year. That
could have meant an $11,100 raise for every teacher or education savings
accounts (ESAs) for more than 4 million students to
offset tuition payments at private schools, to save for college, or to pay
for other educational services, therapies, curricula and materials.
Essentially, taxpayers spent a lot more per student, but teachers didn’t
see much of it. That may be one reason so many school systems have been
seeing teacher strikes lately.
What Students Got
What’s more, this had no measurable positive effect on students.
National Assessment of Educational Progress Long-Term Trend scores for
17-year-olds fell by three points in reading and are flat in mathematics
What Can Be Done
Dr. Scafidi suggested states should expand
school choice and create incentives for schools to compete for teacher talent
How? By empowering parents to choose the best educational fit for their
kids—and allowing the funding to follow them. This, Dr. Scafidi said, lets families, not bureaucrats,
decide where and how school dollars are spent. And if schools aren’t
paying teachers what they deserve, those teachers should be able to teach
where they’ll be paid for their hard work.
Dr. Scafidi’s research was published by EdChoice, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated
to advancing full and unencumbered educational choice as the best pathway to
successful lives and a stronger society. To read the entire report, go to www.edchoice.org/StaffingSurge.
“For decades, teacher salaries
have not kept up with inflation, reports Benjamin Scafidi,
Ph.D., in a study for EdChoice, a nonprofit,
nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing full and unencumbered
educational choice. http://bit.ly/2wGG5j9”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)