1) Financial Day of Reckoning Hit
Some States Sooner Than Others. It's 2012, but we
are only now beginning to receive comprehensive data about how the
recession, delayed by the stimulus package and the edujobs bill, affected
K-12 public education.
Last month the
U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on public school revenues
and expenditures. It covered the 2009-10 school year. Read in concert with
data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education
Statistics Common Core of Data, we can examine how funding and staffing were
impacted by tightened state budgets.
Looking at the nation as a whole, it
appears the years of substantial growth in spending and hiring came to a
grinding halt. The number of full-time equivalent K-12 teachers actually
fell by about 38,000 - something that hasn't happened in recent memory.
Per-pupil spending grew by 1.1 percent - short of the inflation rate for
2010. Enrollment was essentially flat, growing by only 3,800 students
Fourteen states experienced an actual
cut in per-pupil spending in 2009-10 (Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas,
Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington) spanning the geographic and
Though it is clear that the lean years
were underway, not every state suffered. Twenty-three states had a larger
teacher workforce in 2010 than in 2009. And of those, eight were
simultaneously experiencing a drop in K-12 enrollment (Idaho, Illinois,
Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West
Annual figures can spike in either
direction, so I have constructed
a table of the 50 states that examines enrollment, hiring and labor
costs over a five-year period (I will eventually update figures for each of
America's more than 13,000 school districts).
From 2005 to 2010, student enrollment
increased a cumulative 0.3 percent, while the K-12 teacher workforce
increased 3.8 percent. Per-pupil spending increased 22 percent (about 9.3%
after correcting for inflation). Spending on education employee salaries and
benefits increased 22.3 percent.
It seems safe to assume that just as the
cuts to education lagged behind the fall in the economy, so too will resumed
growth in education budgets lag behind an economic recovery. These numbers
are likely to get much worse before they get better.
2) Last Week's Intercepts.
Intercepts, covered these topics from July 10-16:
NEA State Affiliate Membership Numbers for 2010-11. Forty-four state
affiliates were down - nine by more than 5 percent.
Santeramo Charged With Racketeering, Jailed. And how AFT bought a phony
memo for more than $100,000.
The Lights Were Out in Broward. No wonder they couldn't see what was
"We Used Every Tactic Imaginable". The man who organized the uprising.
Throwing the Book at Teacher Union Embezzlers. Santeramo is not alone.
Quote of the Week.
"We had a very aggressive savings plan."- Lynne Webb, president of the
United School Employees of Pasco, explaining to a judge how she and her
husband, former Broward Teachers Union president Pat Santeramo, were able to
put away more than half a million dollars in CDs while paying off a $574,000
vacation home in just three years. (July 13