Class Size Reduction Is on the Way!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the U.S. birth rate fell to a 30-year low. “The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971,” according to the study.

A low birth rate has all sorts of implications for the nation, but the effect on public schools is obvious. Fewer births means reduced enrollment.

If we were smart, we would start planning immediately for that eventuality. There are plenty of options.

Maintaining the same pupil-teacher ratios would ease the strain on future hiring caused by an aging workforce. Fewer students would mean fewer teachers needed.

Or you could maintain current staff levels, which would the mean the same number of teachers would be responsible for fewer students, lowering class sizes.

Reducing the number of teachers to match the decline in enrollment could free up money to pay the remaining teachers more.

Experience tells us, however, that decision-making about education employee hiring levels is rarely a function of student enrollment. It’s a function of available funding.

As long as the economy rolls along and tax revenues increase, school districts will hire more teachers and support workers, even with shrinking enrollment. And since the available workforce is also shrinking, this will lead to - you guessed it! - manufactured panic about teacher shortages.

Eventually every student will have his or her own teacher, but by then that teacher will be a robot.

(This is probably why we haven’t been hearing the usual raves about Finland’s education system recently.)

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One thought on “Class Size Reduction Is on the Way!”

  1. “Eventually every student will have his or her own teacher, but by then that teacher will be a robot.”

    We call that homeschooling. ;)

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