Study: Administrators outnumber teachers

Louisiana is one of 21 states where education administrators and others outnumber classroom teachers, according to a report issued Thursday by a group that favors school choice.

Between the 1950 financial year and 2009 the public school population rose by 96 percent nationally while school employees grew by 386 percent, a study by The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice says.

“Public schools grew staffing at a rate four times faster than the increase in students over that time period,” according to the review.

“Of those personnel, teachers’ numbers increased 252 percent while administrators and other non-teaching staff experienced growth of 702 percent, more than seven times the increase in students,” the group concluded.

The Friedman Foundation calls itself an advocate of school choice, which it terms a “common sense idea that gives all parents the power and freedom to choose their child’s education.”

Public school advocates contend that school choice is a bid to drain students and resources from traditional classrooms, in part to boost private providers financially.

According to the report, Louisiana’s student population dropped 13 percent between the 1992 and 2009 financial years while the ranks of administrators and others rose 13 percent.

The student population rose by 17 percent nationally while ranks of administrators went up 46 percent.

In addition, the state had 2,119 more administrators and other non-teaching personnel than teachers in the 2009 financial year, the study says.

Virginia led the 21-state list with nearly 61,000 more administrators than teachers,

Others on the list included Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.

The latest review said that an earlier study by the same group concluded that, despite the hike in public school employment, student achievement has been flat or declined.

The group said data for its review came from the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.