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The staffing surge (‘educratification’) in America’s public schools: ‘Educrats’ now outnumber teachers in 25 states

State Public School Teachers, 2010 Non-Teaching Staff, 2010 Non-Teaching Staff per 100 Teachers, 2010
Virginia 70,947 130,100 183.4
Indiana 58,121 80,681 138.8
Kentucky 42,042 57,183 136.0
Wyoming 7,127 9,296 130.4
Oregon 28,109 35,493 126.3
Alaska 8,171 9,931 121.6
Ohio 109,282 131,930 120.7
Vermont 8,382 10,103 120.5
Michigan 88,615 104,872 118.3
Connecticut 42,951 50,137 116.7
New Hampshire 15,365 17,590 114.5
Maine 15,384 17,165 111.6
Arkansas 34,273 37,912 110.6
Mississippi 32,255 35,611 110.4
Colorado 48,543 52,883 108.9
Louisiana 48,655 52,225 107.3
New Mexico 22,437 24,082 107.3
Minnesota 52,672 56,322 106.9
South Dakota 9,512 10,033 105.5
Pennsylvania 129,911 136,884 105.4
Utah 25,677 26,664 103.8
Nebraska 22,345 23,164 103.7
California 260,806 269,531 103.3
Georgia 112,460 114,728 102.0
Iowa 34,642 34,973 101.0
United States 3,099,095 3,096,113 99.9

At the Division of Labour blog, Frank Stephenson points to a new study by Ben Scafidi at The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice that finds (according to Frank) “Educrats Outnumber Teachers in 21 States.” The study is titled “The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools, Part II.”  (Here’s a link to the companion study, Part I.) From the Executive Summary of Part II:

America’s K-12 public education system has experienced tremendous historical growth in employment, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Between fiscal year (FY) 1950 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students in the United States increased by 96 percent, while the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) school employees grew 386 percent. Public schools grew staffing at a rate four times faster than the increase in students over that time period. 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.

That hiring pattern has persisted in more recent years as well. Between FY 1992 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students nationwide grew 17 percent, while the number of FTE school employees increased 39 percent. Among school personnel, teachers’ staffing numbers rose 32 percent, while administrators and other non-teaching staff experienced growth of 46 percent, 2.3 times greater than the increase in students over that 18-year period; the growth in the number of teachers was almost twice that of students.

Part II of the study focuses on state-specific information about public school staffing. Among the findings:

Twenty-one “Top-Heavy States” employed fewer teachers than other non-teaching personnel in 2009. Thus, those 21 states have more administrators and other non-teaching staff on the public payroll than teachers. Virginia “leads the way” with 60,737 more administrators and other non-teaching staff than teachers in its public schools.

MP: That level of “educratification” and “administrative and non-teaching bloat” in America’s public schools is so stunning that I checked it out myself and created the table above using more recent 2010 data from the Department of Education for “Staff employed in public elementary and secondary school systems, by type of assignment and state or jurisdiction: Fall 2010.” Amazingly, the “administrative and non-teaching bloat” in America’s public schools has gotten even worse, and there are now 25 states with more “educrats than teachers.”

As Scafidi found for 2009, Virginia public schools led the nation in “educrat bloat,” with 130,100 non-teaching staff compared to only 70,947 teachers. That means that there were 183.4 public school administrators and non-teaching staff for every 100 teachers, or a ratio of almost two administrators and non-teaching personnel for every one teacher! The table shows the other 24 states in 2010 that had fewer teachers than administrators, which includes school district staff, principals and assistant principals, school and library support, librarians, guidance counselors, and other non-teaching support staff. For all US states combined, there were roughly an equal number of teachers (3.099 million) and non-teaching staff members (3.096 million) in 2010, for a ratio of one administrator or non-teaching staff member to every one teacher.

To get an idea of how drastically the situation has changed over time, consider that in the 1949-50 school year, teachers outnumbered non-teaching staff by 2.37 to 1. In other words, sixty years ago there were 237 public school teachers for every 100 non-teaching staff. Now in states like Virginia, that ratio has almost been completely reversed, and there are now 1.83 non-teachers for every public school teacher in Virginia, or 183 administrators and non-teaching staff for every 100 teachers!

As the share of non-instructional staffing has grown at US public schools, per-pupil expenditures in constant dollars have also grown significantly, from $1,708 in 1949-50 to $11,339 in 2008-09 (most recent year available). That’s a 564% and more than six-fold increase in real spending per pupil! It’s been well-documented that educational outcomes (e.g. test scores) have been flat for many decades, so we’re not getting any observable increase in quality for the six-fold increase in real spending per pupil. According to Scafidi, “The increases in public school employment since 1992 do not appear to have had any positive returns to students as measured by test scores and graduation rates.”

What we are getting is a “staffing surge” in public schools that has led to the same “administrative bloat” and “educratification” that is burdening the top-heavy higher education system with increasing administrative costs. Scafidi’s study documents how “states could save millions or even billions of dollars per year if they returned to staffing ratios present in FY 1992 for administration and other non-teaching staff.” Unfortunately, it’s the nature of publicly taxpayer-funded bureaucracies to expand, and not contract administratively, so it’s unlikely that public schools or public universities will ever return to the administrative staffing levels of the past. But studies like these two from Ben Scafidi are still important, because these help to bring public awareness to the ”educratification” of America’s schools, and help to identify the main reason that public school expenditures and college tuition are increasing so dramatically in real dollars – “administrative bloat.”

82 thoughts on “The staffing surge (‘educratification’) in America’s public schools: ‘Educrats’ now outnumber teachers in 25 states

  1. This proves that we already have TOO MANY educrats so lets get RID of the Federal Dept Education, which ADDS to the number of educrats!

  2. Congratulations. This is one of your best works with real supporting data. In the good old days when I went to grammar school (1-6) we had a principal, VP, nurse, counselor and a janitor. About 450 kids attended. From memory we had 20-25 teachers.
    Now tax dollars go to fund Administrative Taj Mahal District office buildings, cars and credit cards for expenses. Screw the teachers

    • Back then the schools did not provide much in the way of special education support. It was sink or swim. For example todays schools include physical and occupational therapists for children that were not provided 60 years ago. Do you count them? The NRA wants to raise the ratio with armed guards, would you count them? It would be useful to seperate out the folks supporting special education students from the administrative folks.

      • ‘sink or swim’, eh ? And we did a whole lot better than these kids today. Just look at the advancements we made in the 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, and 60′s, it all started going down hill in the 70′s.

        • re: downhill…

          actually it has stayed fairly level – but schools in Europe kept getting better.

          we never got past the part about blacks and at-risk kids… since we pretty much catered to kids with parental support and left the others behind which ended up being the premise behind GB’s NCLB law.

          It’s been asserted that if we take out the academic performance of blacks, Hispanics, and reduced/free lunch students that we actually rank first in international comparisons.

          What are “choice” schools going to do about that?

          are they going to accept the same demographics that public schools accept?

  3. this is most likely a bogus study and here’s why:

    schools are not just teachers and administrators.

    schools are also – bus drivers, maintenance and operations personnel, cafeteria workers, janitors, nurses, IT folks, etc.

    A more accurate “study” would essentially count how many teachers versus how many non-teachers (rather than implying that all non-teachers are administrators).

    at the end of the day, you are going to find about a 50-50 split as schools are significant brick and mortar operations and just like any other brick and mortar operations – it takes personal just to keep that footprint operating – to serve it’s intended core function – in this case education.

    but this is the kind of subtle bias that we see in these kinds of agenda-driven narratives: ” Thus, those 21 states have more administrators and other non-teaching staff on the public payroll than teachers”

    the focus is on administrators – not bus drivers,, not IT personnel, not school nurses, not the building maintenance personnel, etc… but the “administrators” who have “bloated”.

    ” sixty years ago there were 237 public school teachers for every 100 non-teaching staff”

    sixty years ago, we did not have regional schools that needed school buses.

    we also did not have IT people.

    many schools did not have cafeterias – everyone brought bag lunches.

    60 years ago, schools were not air conditioned and did not need HVAC workers.

    60 years ago – we did not educated the handicapped nor bring them to school in special buses and provide on-site care for their health needs.

    as so often with these “studies”, the simple truth is the first casualty.

    • Article quotes from the study:
      “Between fiscal year (FY) 1950 and FY 2009… 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”

      So your contention is that, compared to 1950, it now takes 8 times as many people to maintain the infrastructure?

    • A more accurate “study” would essentially count how many teachers versus how many non-teachers (rather than implying that all non-teachers are administrators).

      I see it’s too late to advise you to get your facts straight before going off in all the wrong directions.

      In case you’re at all interested in correcting some of your blatant misconceptions on this subject, you might consider reading the actual study, which can be found here in a magazine called The School Choice Advocate, a publication of the “Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice”.

      You can find the cover story by Dr. Benjamin Scafidi – the one we are discussing on this thread – beginning on page 4. Please observe Fig, 1, which summarizes Growth in Students and Public School Personnel, United States, FY 1950 to FY 2009, using data from Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1991 Digest of Education Statistics, Tables 37 and 77; 2010 Digest of Education Statistics, Tables 36 and 87

      You wrote: “ schools are not just teachers and administrators.

      And you will find from even a brief glance at the study you are trying to discredit, that the numbers for non-teachers include administrators “i>and other staff.

      Considering that the source of all the data for this study is the US government, You might want to reconsider your assertion about the “bogus study”.

      Please point out what is wrong with it, rather than just claiming it’s wrong.

      As I’m sure you are aware, most products and services have become better and cheaper over time, especially since 1950, but education has not. The “product” provided by government schools is, if anything, worse now than in 1950, yet requires almost twice as many teachers per student and 8 times as many non-teachers, at a far higher real cost per student.

      Why would that be? Is it possible that competition for student dollars would improve this “product” and lower costs like it does with almost every other product?

      That is the argument for school choice – allow parents and students to once again be the real customers, and education quality should rise, and costs should fall.

      • re: administrators and other staff entitled “administrative bloat”.

        right.. an unbiased study for sure… NOT!

        and different ways of classifying is evident as way as the fact that some schools contract out some functions rather than have employees – but as pointed out by Walt and others – the money is still spent so counting “heads” of only employees is dumb as a stump if you’re trying to actually compare apples to apples.

        but we know from the folks who did the study that they had an agenda and were not really interested in a real honest apples-to-apples study anyhow…just another hit piece on public education…

        re: paying for special needs kids and other things.

        that’s up to a majority of taxpayers.. if they feel they want to pay for this – it’s NOT an administrative bloat issue.

        all this goes to show is just how biased and partisan such agenda-driven “studies” can be.

        They simply are not interested in anything truly intelligent.

        • re: administrators and other staff entitled “administrative bloat”.

          You might have noticed, if you had read carefully, that the title of this blog post is “Administrative Bloat in
          America’s public Schools”, while the study you don’t like is called “Bloated with Bureaucracy”. Your complaint about the descriptions of non-teaching personnel is bogus. Have you read the study? If not, all of your comments on the subject are bogus also.

          right.. an unbiased study for sure… NOT!

          What is biased about it?

          and different ways of classifying is evident as way as the fact that some schools contract out some functions rather than have employees – but as pointed out by Walt and others – the money is still spent so counting “heads” of only employees is dumb as a stump if you’re trying to actually compare apples to apples.

          And has been pointed out to Walt – and now you – is that outsourcing services should *reduce* headcount, but it has risen nonetheless. Your argument about contracting shows that the problem is worse than we think, based only on headcount.

          but we know from the folks who did the study that they had an agenda and were not really interested in a real honest apples-to-apples study anyhow…just another hit piece on public education…

          How do we know that? Please point out the problems. the It’s pretty clear from the magazine’s title “The School Choice Advocate” what the agenda is. Choice certainly doesn’t seem like a sinister notion, in fact you previously agreed that school choice is good. Have you changed your mind, or did you mis-speak previously?

          Hit piece? Surely even you can admit that there are serious problems with public education. Pointing out some of the problems using government numbers is hardly a “hit piece”.

          re: paying for special needs kids and other things.

          that’s up to a majority of taxpayers.. if they feel they want to pay for this – it’s NOT an administrative bloat issue.

          Didn’t you previously write that taxpayer funded public education should include only basic academic studies, and that any extras should be paid for out of pocket by those parents and students who wanted more? Has your position on that changed?

          all this goes to show is just how biased and partisan such agenda-driven “studies” can be.

          What’s biased about it, Larry? Where’s the beef?

          They simply are not interested in anything truly intelligent.”

          Like what? Are you satisfied with attacking the messenger (ad hominem ) rather than discussing the actual study?

          • re: “administrative bloat” to describe public schools starts off badly and goes downhill quick because basically it’s an agenda-driven “hit” article against public schools .

      • re: ” As I’m sure you are aware, most products and services have become better and cheaper over time, especially since 1950, but education has not. The “product” provided by government schools is, if anything, worse now than in 1950, yet requires almost twice as many teachers per student and 8 times as many non-teachers, at a far higher real cost per student.”

        I guess you missed the link provided to a private Christian schools were high school tuition is over 9K per student? Is that also administrative “bloat” ?

        how about this? how about an honest study where you get the labor classification correct, and you account for spending for contract employees and you compare private schools with public schools on an honest apples-to-apples basis?

        • I guess you missed the link provided to a private Christian schools were high school tuition is over 9K per student? Is that also administrative “bloat” ?

          No, I didn’t miss it at all, it’s just irrelevant. You showed a tuition schedule for one private school. Is this amount high, low, typical? We have no way of knowing. How does that compare to public schools in the area? We have no idea, as no information was provided by the author of your comment.

          how about this? how about an honest study where you get the labor classification correct…

          They did that.

          …and you account for spending for contract employees and you compare private schools with public schools on an honest apples-to-apples basis?

          As I pointed out, you are working against yourself when you use that argument. Adding the cost of contract services makes the bloat even worse, as outsourcing services should result in *reductions* in headcount. If all contract services were performed by school employees, the headcount increases since 1950 would be even higher. Outsourced services are part of the much higher budgets for schools, but not the much higher headcounts.

          It doesn’t matter if private schools are better, worse, or the same. The issue is the inexplicable increases in costs per student and educational and support personnel per student. What’s the cause? You haven’t explained it. You can’t just say bloat is OK because everyone does it.

          Let’s deal with your “special needs” argument at this time:

          If we use your unsupported number for the cost of a special needs student – 3 times the cost of other students – and marmico’s number of 13% of enrolled K-12 students having medically recognized disabilities, which may include medical conditions that don’t require additional school personnel, then we could expect headcount to be 39% higher, but it’s much higher than that.

          How about school cafeterias?

          Keeping in mind that the numbers we see for $/student don’t include capital costs like buildings and real estate, and keeping in mind that school lunches are partially paid for out of pocket by students who can afford them and other state and federal entitlement programs for those who can’t, and that those amounts are not included in the $/student numbers we see, that’s not likely the reason for much higher costs. and 8 times the number of non- teachers now working in schools.

          One thing that CAN explain some of the additional staff required is the plethora of state and federal programs that add compliance and testing costs while taking time from actual education. We might question whether these programs and tests actually benefit students.

          The bottom line question is this: Why has the cost of public education skyrocketed since 1950, and why have the number of people needed to educate each student increased so dramatically, when the product we get is certainly not better than it was, and may be worse.

          Before you criticize the chart, please note that the source of the data is the US Dept. of Education.

          • re: why has the cost gone up?

            not explained by the bogus study.

            it’s a hit piece and little else.

            it DOES matter what the costs are for choice schools since this “study” is generated by folks whose agenda is to have choice schools replace public schools.

            re: costs per student.. if you really spent some time on this – you’d know what they are… guy

            re: honest study on classification. nope. they did not. different states.. different schools systems within those states classify the division of labor differently.

            One local school was classifying maintenance and ops under administration… and they report their data to the state…

            re: contract labor… makes bloat look worse…

            not if you’re not classifying things right to start with.

            there is such wide diversity in their numbers.. it’s clear there is a classification problem both for actual school employees and for contract labor.

            let’s see that the numbers look like for choice schools since the agenda here is that choice schools are more cost-efficient.. cheaper than public schools which waste money on administrative bloat…

            re: ” As I pointed out, you are working against yourself ”

            more mindless trip from your superior intellect? ha hhahaha

            re: using special needs data… if you are going to do a “study” then you use authoritative data and reference it.

            if you want to claim increased costs for education and pretend that special needs are not part of it and instead those costs are “administrative bloat” then you’re not interested in an honest study from the get go.

            attributing all increased school costs to “administrative bloat” while ignoring obvious other factors is ignorant but then most agenda-driven studies are ignorant also.

            re: cafeterias – have you actually looked at a real school budget guy? have you? go do that first before you pontificate further here.

            re: compliance costs – that would not apply to “choice” schools? why not?

            re: testing – the Feds only require that the states assess achievement – how they do it is up to the states.

            why have schools costs increased since 1950?

            a LOT MORE reasons than administrative bloat nimrod.

          • Why do you people attempt rational and logical discussions with the proudly retarded LarryG? He continually demonstrates his inability to interpret data, learn from data, or even expound upon data without resorting to his childish and ridiculous disingenuity. He really is a mental defective just looking for attention from his intellectual superiors, and he gets a lot of attention everywhere he drops his nasty brain farts.

          • Oh STFU skh.pcola – you pinhead. Go sniff your armpits or something useful in your world.

          • Why do you people attempt rational and logical discussions with the proudly retarded LarryG? He continually demonstrates his inability to interpret data, learn from data, or even expound upon data without resorting to his childish and ridiculous disingenuity. He really is a mental defective just looking for attention from his intellectual superiors, and he gets a lot of attention everywhere he drops his nasty brain farts..”

            I can only speak for myself, but for me Larry provides a perfect comic foil. No need to carry on a conversation with yourself when you have Larry. I can discuss almost any subject at length, and explain almost any view by bouncing my comments off of Larry.

            I’m hoping that in some small way others might benefit from the exchange.

            As you can see from his most recent comment, he is completely out of things to say that are even remotely relevant to the topic at hand, so I’ll leave it there..

            At other times he seems to bounce from one irrelevant topic to another so quickly, I think I’m playing Whack-
            a-Mole.

            I Don’t think anyone believes they can penetrate the shell of ignorance and misinformation with which he surrounds himself.

            You’re welcome to play if you’d like. There’s plenty of Larry to go around.

          • In addition I can see from Larry’s last comment that he now believes I should provide data to support his arguments If I plan to discuss subjects he introduces.

            LOL

          • what I showed was a fairly typical private school tuition schedule – for a full-service school – that has a gym and a sports program plus technology and a more limited selection of electives …

            I could gather up others but what’s the point?

            I showed you a real example. If anything it’s not the most expensive I’ve seen… in some places, it can be as much as 20K if the teachers have Masters Degrees and are top-notch.

            we’re now talking about armed police at the schools.. I bet that’s going to add to costs.. eh? I wonder if the private schools will also do that?

          • we’re now talking about armed police at the schools.. I bet that’s going to add to costs.. eh? I wonder if the private schools will also do that?

            No, private schools will do the sensible thing and eliminate gun free zones helpless victim zones by allowing properly permitted CCW holders to carry their weapons on campus, thus causing serious impediments for those who would otherwise consider coming on to school grounds and shooting children and adults without any resistance for 10 minutes or so before police arrive.

            As you may recall in the case of the Virginia Tech shooting, the shooter was stopped and held by two off duty police officers who left class, on hearing gunfire, and ran to their cars to get their service weapons which weren’t allowed on campus. There is absolutely no doubt that they could have saved lives if they had carried those weapons with them, as they did everywhere else they went.

  4. one of the big cost areas for public schools these days are what are called “special needs” kids that can cost twice or 3 times as much as normal students because they need special buses, extra people on the bus to look after them and then extra people in the classroom to deal with their needs.

    you can bet that the “choice” school folks don’t want nothing to do with these kids and the personnel and other costs.

    Second – there may well be an honest question on whether or not schools should actually employ non-instructor personnel rather than contracting out those functions.

    Some schools do and some do not. Some will contract for cafeteria service or HVAC service or bus service or IT service but here’s the important point – money is still spent on these things.

    we spend money now on school-provided lunches, air conditioning/climate control, computers and networks, etc.

    these are things we did not spend money on 60 years ago so there is much more to this than “administrative bloat”.

    Finally – what kind of objective study on this would you expect from ” a new study by Ben Scafidi at The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice that finds (according to Frank) “Educrats Outnumber Teachers in 21 States.” ?????

    what’s the real point here?

    that “choice” schools are more efficient and cheaper?

    will “choice” schools provide all the things that public schools now provide?

    are we actually comparing apples to apples?

    how many choice schools accept special needs kids for example?

    here’s a sample of the costs for private schools:

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.fredericksburgchristian.com/document.doc?id=1752

    does anyone think these costs are excessive and wasteful?

    $9500 a year for high school and that includes a student activity fee and a “technology” fee.

    that’s about what a public school education costs.

    does that mean there is “administrative bloat” at the private school also?

    • So what you’re saying is, government control and centralization of education has increased costs and produces less quality.

      I guess I don’t understand why we would want to continue this, or why anybody would support continuing it (except if they were getting some personal gain from continuing it).

      • “So what you’re saying is, government control and centralization of education has increased costs and produces less quality.”

        did you look at the costs of the private school example I gave?

        the costs that have increased involved things like air conditioning, IT services, cafeterias, special needs kids, etc.

        “I guess I don’t understand why we would want to continue this, or why anybody would support continuing it (except if they were getting some personal gain from continuing it). ”

        are you advocating that we go back to schools without air conditioning, no buses, no cafeterias, that won’t accept special needs kids, etc?

        be honest. Do you want to go back to much smaller schools with less services and minimal infrastructure ?

        I’m not advocating for the increased costs I’m saying we have chosen to do more than we used to and perhaps it is a legitimate discussion about what we might want to do without but demonizing teachers and education in general – across the entire country as this study seemed to imply is … well.. it’s just plain dumb..as well as biased.

        If you want lower costs – identify what you want to do without or reduce costs on?

        the funny thing here is that some of the right wing blogs have indicated that it’s the Teacher “unions” that have caused this “administrative bloat”.

        Really? Teachers unions are going to lobby for more administrators? this is the kind of dumb logic at work here.

        • “be honest. Do you want to go back to much smaller schools with less services and minimal infrastructure ?”

          Yes. If you want these things in your school, then you pay for it. If you want special things for special kids, then you pay for it, with your money. If it’s such a great thing to spend money on, then convince people to spend their money on it, too. Put your money where your mouth is and get your hands (and guns) out of other people’s pockets.

          Is that too hard for you to understand?

          • We could go back to put the special needs kids in a warehouse (home) and just ignore them which was the philosophy of government 60 years ago, or put another dear parents of a special needs kid you just lost lifes lottery. Today of course the extra services stop at age 18 however. For example what happened to autistic kids 60 years ago, all be it there was not as large a percentage of such kids?

          • nope. you want subsidies for private schools

            Actually, you can’t really speak for me or know what I want, even though you and other statists like you believe you can know what is best for me.

            I want to choose where to send my kids to school. If there is to be taxpayer funded education, I want to chose where that money for my kids goes. I want the money attached to the child, not the address where he lives.

            sorry charlie.. if you want to go to a different school you have to get permission and you may have to pay for it.

            And that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? Why should I need anyone’s permission to send my child to a different school, and why should I have to pay full price for that choice as opposed to a “free” education at a school the state chooses for me?

            I don’t need permission to change grocery stores, or restaurants, or any other product or service provider. If I receive government entitlements I can use my benefits anywhere I like. Why is education different?

            You haven’t answered my question about your previous support for school choice, nor the one about your previous position that everything beyond core academics should be the financial responsibility of individual parents.

            because you’d want your own private security force also – paid for by taxes… right?

            I don’t want anything paid for by taxes, Larry. I’m opposed to all taxes. Taxation is theft. I want to pay directly for the services I choose – either from a mutual aid organization or a private provider.

            there is no monolithic govt monopoly on “schools” nimrod there are thousands of different school systems run by different govts – not one govt.

            All public schools are funded by the state using tax money taken from the public. Every public school receives state money and must follow state guidelines. In addition all schools receive federal money and must follow federal guidelines to get it.

            I have money taken from me for education whether or not I want or need it.

            That’s absolutely no different than nationalizing Starbuck’s and funding it with taxes collected from everyone whether or not they drink coffee. I can get coffee anywhere else I want, if I’m willing to pay full price for it, but it’s free at the Starbucks closest to my house. I can’t choose to go to another Starbuck’s unless I get special permission.

            What do you suppose would happen to the price of Starbuck’s coffee in a world like that? Would it go up? Would Starbuck’s hire more people than they need because money is no object, and there was no bottom line to protect – no incentives to be efficient? How about the courtesy of baristas and the quality of service?

            A better system would be to allow me to spend my allotment of government coffee money wherever I chose, whether it’s at my nearest Starbuck’s another Starbucks, or some other coffee provider. That way all coffee providers would compete for my business with fast efficient service, good coffee, and low prices. Just like they do now.

          • “nope. you want subsidies for private schools”

            Actually, you can’t really speak for me or know what I want, even though you and other statists like you believe you can know what is best for me.”

            well it’s not about you. it’s about folks who pay taxes that benefit you.

            “I want to choose where to send my kids to school. If there is to be taxpayer funded education, I want to chose where that money for my kids goes. I want the money attached to the child, not the address where he lives.”

            you have that choice. but you cannot not pay taxes because you don’t want to any more than those who don’t have kids can refuse to pay taxes.

            you don’t get to choose guy – any more than you’d choose how to spend on a private police force or fire dept.

            you get a vote just like everyone else.

            “sorry charlie.. if you want to go to a different school you have to get permission and you may have to pay for it.”

            And that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? Why should I need anyone’s permission to send my child to a different school, and why should I have to pay full price for that choice as opposed to a “free” education at a school the state chooses for me?”

            because other people are paying for your services that you think you are. Do you bitch about the police force that is “chosen for you” or the “road system that is chosen for you” and want your money back so you can do your own?

            “I don’t need permission to change grocery stores, or restaurants, or any other product or service provider. If I receive government entitlements I can use my benefits anywhere I like. Why is education different? ”

            is it different from other services your taxes provide?

            “You haven’t answered my question about your previous support for school choice, nor the one about your previous position that everything beyond core academics should be the financial responsibility of individual parents.”

            my view is that one reason schools are so expensive is because we pay for far more than just core academics and the “extras” should be the responsibility of those who want the extras – not all taxpayers.

            I also feel that providing more than core academics, we dilute the purpose and goals of core academics – and most schools in Europe, Japan, Australia focus more on core academics and the results demonstrate it.

            “because you’d want your own private security force also – paid for by taxes… right?”

            I don’t want anything paid for by taxes, Larry. I’m opposed to all taxes. Taxation is theft. I want to pay directly for the services I choose – either from a mutual aid organization or a private provider. ”

            yes.. we agree.. so this is not really about school choice at all… it’s about your opposition to all taxes for any purpose, right?

            “there is no monolithic govt monopoly on “schools” nimrod there are thousands of different school systems run by different govts – not one govt.”

            All public schools are funded by the state using tax money taken from the public. Every public school receives state money and must follow state guidelines. In addition all schools receive federal money and must follow federal guidelines to get it.”

            funded by 50 states and 17,000 localities. Yes there are state mandates but many, many localities pay for far more than the state requires. They do received Federal money – it’s about 1K per kid and it’s primarily devoted to at-risk kids and kids with special needs because many localities simply would not fund it.

            “I have money taken from me for education whether or not I want or need it.”

            yep.. so do single people and married without kids and businesses…

            “That’s absolutely no different than nationalizing Starbuck’s and funding it with taxes collected from everyone whether or not they drink coffee. I can get coffee anywhere else I want, if I’m willing to pay full price for it, but it’s free at the Starbucks closest to my house. I can’t choose to go to another Starbuck’s unless I get special permission.”

            Nope. There is a specific public purpose for schools just like there are specific public purposes for law enforcement, fire /rescue, roads, etc.

            “What do you suppose would happen to the price of Starbuck’s coffee in a world like that? Would it go up? Would Starbuck’s hire more people than they need because money is no object, and there was no bottom line to protect – no incentives to be efficient? How about the courtesy of baristas and the quality of service?”

            I know this runs counter to your beliefs but people want these services… they want public schools… they want private schools also as long as someone else is paying for it.

            “A better system would be to allow me to spend my allotment of government coffee money wherever I chose, whether it’s at my nearest Starbuck’s another Starbucks, or some other coffee provider. That way all coffee providers would compete for my business with fast efficient service, good coffee, and low prices. Just like they do now.”

            if everyone had that option – and lets say you had two kids, you’d be paying 10-20K per year out of your own pocket – for schooling.. and then you’d have to live behind a wall with bars to protect you and your family from those who did not get educated at all and survived by criminal activities. You see this is 3rd world countries where people have to have armed bodyguards to take their kids to school.

            you have your views. they’re in the minority. We live in a country where people vote what they want and vote out what they don’t want. That’s how we were created.

            as I said before.. I have no problem paying taxes for you to use in a private school – as long as that school meets the requirements and purposes for which the money is taxed in the first place.

            I would like to see more competition and I do believe it would force public schools to do better…but what you are asking for is essentially doing away with public schools all together.. right

        • If you want lower costs – identify what you want to do without or reduce costs on?

          First of all there are no “choice schools”. What we mean by choice, is that we, as parents, want choice.

          I want to do without the government monopoly on public education. I want to choose where my kids go to school. I want public, private, charter, church, and home-school programs to compete for my education dollars.

          I may prefer one public school over another, or I may prefer a non-public school. I want that choice.

          Why is it that people speak of a monopoly in the private sector as an evil to be broken apart by the Justice dept?

          Why is it that when large, successful, profitable private companies such as Standard Oil, Alcoa, IBM, and Microsoft provide better products at lower prices than their rivals, and thus gain large market shares, we ask government (actually their competitors usual ask) to break them up into smaller pieces, on the pretense that it’s in the public interest, but that a *government* monopoly such as public education or the USPS are seen as good things? It just doesn’t make sense.

          • “If you want lower costs – identify what you want to do without or reduce costs on?”

            First of all there are no “choice schools”. What we mean by choice, is that we, as parents, want choice.”

            nope. you want subsidies for private schools

            “I want to do without the government monopoly on public education. I want to choose where my kids go to school. I want public, private, charter, church, and home-school programs to compete for my education dollars.”

            you have that option right now.

            “I may prefer one public school over another, or I may prefer a non-public school. I want that choice.”

            sorry charlie.. if you want to go to a different school you have to get permission and you may have to pay for it.

            “Why is it that people speak of a monopoly in the private sector as an evil to be broken apart by the Justice dept?”

            because you’d want your own private security force also – paid for by taxes… right?

            “Why is it that when large, successful, profitable private companies such as Standard Oil, Alcoa, IBM, and Microsoft provide better products at lower prices than their rivals, and thus gain large market shares, we ask government (actually their competitors usual ask) to break them up into smaller pieces, on the pretense that it’s in the public interest, but that a *government* monopoly such as public education or the USPS are seen as good things? It just doesn’t make sense. ”

            there is no monolithic govt monopoly on “schools” nimrod there are thousands of different school systems run by different govts – not one govt.

            are you saying that ALL county/city schools runs by DIFFERENT govts are one monolithic monopoly?

            if you want school choice – talk to your local school system and local govt.

            there are more than 14,000 different school districts in the US – they are run by one central govt?

            listen to yourself guy.

    • Assuming it was “apples to apples” within the study, it is still very interesting to see Virginia at a ratio of 1.83 : 1, while California is basically 1 : 1.

      Are schools in VA that much more difficult to maintain and manage? People living in VA should at least start asking questions why they have such a different model than other states.

      • There is something amiss with the Virginia data. It looks like a step function to me. See Table 88.

        What about South Carolina, a 1 : 2.23 ratio as a non-educrat?

        Virginia should contact South Carolina. :-)

      • Here is the latest Virginia Report Card.

        The first data presented shows increasing proficiency in different subjects as Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) to close a Proficiency Gap in each subject.

        So, what is the proficiency of Virginia black students in mathematics at Grade 8, based upon the National Assessment Educational Progress? Eighteen percent.

        Much of the dismal scores of black students is dismal parenting or lack thereof, but the schools don’t look like they help much in math either.

        Virginia does have a very high proportion of real teachers, as opposed to “provisional teachers” that are prevelent in much of the South.

        Also, Virginia has a very good graduation rate but I’m not sure what kind of educational attainment that represents.

    • Larry, A small enrollment with large fixed costs per enrollee. The opposite should be true of our public schools. Large enrollment and large fixed costs per enrollee.

  5. The only way this educrat argument works is by excluding principals & assistant principals, instructional aides, librarians and guidance counselors from instructional staff.

    1. The instructional staff to total staff ratio declined from 73.6% in 1950 to 67% in 2010 per Table 85.

    2. The school board staff to total staff ratio declined from 2.6% to 2.2% from 1950 to 2010.

    3. The suppport staff (includes school district administrative support staff, school and library support staff, student support staff, and other support services staff) to total staff ratio increased from 23.8% to 30.8% from 1950 to 2010.

    The three ratios are essentially unchanged since 1990.

    • You can easily lower the headcount in public schools by using purchased services, but the trick is to lower the cost at the same time. Here’s how the average public education dollar is used in Michigan by function codes:

      Instructional Expenditures 62%
      Pupil Support 5%
      Instructional Staff Support Services 5%
      General Administration 1%
      School Administration 5%
      Transportation 5%
      Business Services 1%
      Operations and Maintenance 15%
      Other Support Services 1%
      Total 100%

  6. I would be interested in how many of the non-teaching staff are teaching assistants/classroom aids/etc. and also the average class size. One possible explanation would be, less teachers, more assistants, bigger classes. If that is what is happening, rather than bloated management, I would be inclined to support it.

    • they’re called “paras” in some places but if we want to compare apples to apples we have to account for different ways of classifying… instructional and non-instructional personnel.

      the other point I’d make is that class size is not, should not be one-size-fits-all. A high school class in photo journalism is not the same as a 2nd grade class heavy with at-risk children.

      In the latter case, class size is critical. In the former, not so much.

    • In 2010, instructional aides are 12% of total staff and 18% of instructional staff. In 1970, the first year the category was broken out in the data, aides were 2% and 3%, respectively.

      Aides were hired en masse post 1975 to comply with the
      Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.Today 13% of enrolled K-12 students have medically recognized disabilities.

    • FOUND IT. Not suprising there is bloat in our education system – it’s everywhere else. More money goes to the educrats with less and less trickeling down to those whom it is intended -the students – and we wonder why our education is failing us.

  7. It looks like that there is an inverse relationship with the proportion of educrats and test scores.

    The more we bloat, the dumber the kids get.

    American K-12 education is run like our post office and produces comparable results.

    American education needs competition, vouchers and tax credits. Choice is the answer.

      • Of course, the outlier non-educrat South Carolina has a high school graduation rate (2009) of 66% and the outlier educrat Virginia has a rate of 78%“…

        The real question here (I’m not disputing your data) is what’s the definition of ‘graduation‘?

        One can be said to have graduated from high school but still be functionally illiterate…

        i.e. New York city…

        • There is a local high-school that graduated over 40 valedictorians a few years back. Everyone was a certified genius, the next Einstein.

          In reality, their “feel-good” diplomas were obviously not worth the paper that they were printed on.

        • The real question here (I’m not disputing your data) is what’s the definition of ‘graduation‘?

          Read the definition in the link. Are you all disabled and need to rest your overworked brains on the breasts of an instructional aide?:-)

          NOTE: The averaged freshman graduation rate is the number of graduates divided by the estimated freshman enrollment count 4 years earlier. This count
          is the sum of the number of 8th-graders 5 years earlier, the number of 9th-graders 4 years earlier, and the number of 10th-graders 3 years earlier, divided
          by 3. Ungraded students were allocated to individual grades proportional to each state’s enrollment in those grades. Graduates include only those
          who earned regular diplomas or diplomas for advanced academic achievement (e.g., honors diploma) as defined by the state or jurisdiction.

          • Read the definition in the link. Are you all disabled and need to rest your overworked brains on the breasts of an instructional aide?“…

            Yes, there was no definition for functional literacy, at least a real world definition…

            The fact is increasing amounts of extorted tax dollars spent on public education is basically money wasted

          • Read the definition in the link. Are you all disabled and need to rest your overworked brains on the breasts of an instructional aide?:-)

            Well, obviously, that depends a lot on the particular breasts.

  8. Headcount is not a good metric to use for how money is spent in public schools because schools might contract out maintenance, cleaning, bus driving, food service, and etc. making headcount meaningless. You have to follow where the money is spent for a valid analysis. Most Michigan public school districts spend somewhere around 60% of their budget on instruction. I’ve been attending my school district’s meetings for the last few years, and we are tight with our money (see our report below).

    http://www.athertonschools.org/cms/lib02/MI01000928/Centricity/Domain/1/2011_Budget_Transparency_Operating_Expenditures.pdf

    “The basic functional categories operated by most districts are instruction, pupil support, instructional staff support, general administration, business services, operations and maintenance, transportation, central services, community services, and facilities acquisition.”

    • Walt: “Headcount is not a good metric to use for how money is spent in public schools because schools might contract out maintenance, cleaning, bus driving, food service, and etc. making headcount meaningless. You have to follow where the money is spent for a valid analysis.

      You’re absolutely right, but it appears that headcount is rising IN ADDITION to many services being outsourced.

      I think the question is, why is headcount rising in this industry without any increase in product quality, when productivity enhancements in most others has reduced the number of people required to produce a product or service at the same time product quality has increased and cost has decreased.

      • I would not use headcount either way–up or down–to measure either educational effectiveness or educational cost. I’ve done direct and indirect labor costing in the past for build-or-buy decisions and headcount was just one factor of the cost analysis. I know it’s counterintuitive, but it’s possible to reduce cost by adding people in the right place and for the right price.

        • re: employees vs contractors

          23 schools – 23 HVAC systems – when HVACs go out – the school is out of business until they are fixed.

          Can you get on a contractor basis 24/7, 1hr response service? You can – for a price and that price is damn close to what it would cost you to have your own school system personnel – supplemented, when appropriate and needed with contractors.

          Ditto with subs for teachers, cafeteria workers, etc.

          it’s not a black/white, either/or situation .. it’s determined on a cost-benefit basis.

          it would be the same for non-public schools except that a school system can afford to have an employee HVAC staff and a stand-alone “choice” school would likely have to hire contractors and wait until they could be there and in the meantime – close the school – depending on the outside temps, computer and electronics, etc.

          Back in the 60,s – there were no HVAC systems and there were no computers and other electronics… school was taught when it was 98 outside … we could go back to that time.. keep computers in only certain rooms.. etc.. but… really?

          back in the 60′s if a kid needed special services, he stayed home.

          there were buses… but they were packed to the gills and took 2 hours to make the rounds to the school.

          there was no in-school detention or school for those who were expelled.. they just were sent home.

          I could go on and on about this but the point is this is not the 1960′s anymore – whether you are talking about public or private schools.

          For the record – I have no problem with giving a parent some portion of their money back to pursue some other non-public option – as long as those schools have to serve the same demographics and meet the same academic standards – since tax money is involved and the purpose of tax money is not personal preferences on education. The purpose of tax money is primarily to produce an employable tax-paying workforce…not self-actuation for Johnny and his parents.

          Everyone pays taxes for education. Single people, Married people without kids. Married people whose kids have left home – and businesses.

          people who do have kids are receiving thousands of dollars worth of services for their taxes- and usually receive far more in services (beyond just schools) that they pay in taxes – in large part because the other taxpayers without kids are also paying.

          There are over 17000 school systems in the US. Each one has it’s own way of doing business and are usually elected. Many, if not most, tax and fund schools at a higher rate than the Feds and the State mandates.

          In our county alone – a county of about 125,000 people we pay about 70 million more for education that is required. That’s 1400 more teachers than the state requires us to have out of 3000.

          I’ve not seen a single official voted out of office over this 70 million – not a one – despite the fact that is adds about 3/4 more to people taxes bills than they otherwise have to pay.

          In general, in most places, parents want more and more services for their kids and the other taxpayers who don’t have kids – go along with it – to a point.

          there is no massive conspiracy. there are 17000 different school systems and each one is largely funded locally by local taxpayers who have the power to throw out the elected if they are unhappy with the situation.

          that’s the reality.

          • 23 schools – 23 HVAC systems – when HVACs go out – the school is out of business until they are fixed.

            Can you get on a contractor basis 24/7, 1hr response service? You can – for a price and that price is damn close to what it would cost you to have your own school system personnel – supplemented, when appropriate and needed with contractors.

            You have no idea about this. You are making it up as you go – otherwise known as pulling it from your ass.

            ditto with subs for teachers, cafeteria workers, etc.

            And this too.

          • re: ” You have no idea about this. You are making it up as you go – otherwise known as pulling it from your ass.

            “ditto with subs for teachers, cafeteria workers, etc.”

            And this too.”

            you’d be wrong boy…. more than you know.

          • you’d be wrong boy…. more than you know.

            Just so you know – when you are commenting on a blog comment section and you make an outrageous, unsupported assertion like you just did, and someone questions it or calls you out on it, it’s normally your obligation to provide support for it.

            I know you believe others should find support for your claims, but it just doesn’t work that way. Just saying “you’d be wrong, boy” isn’t really good enough.

          • ” I know you believe others should find support for your claims, but it just doesn’t work that way. Just saying “you’d be wrong, boy” isn’t really good enough.”

            really? so when I do provide support like the tuition costs, and you say “that’s just one” – not good enough… I need to do more? hahahahahhahah

            take my word for it nimrod – I pay attention to local politics and how much public schools costs and how many employees they have and for what purpose.

            I asked if you did similar and got no answer.

            have you looked at your local school budget and determined, for instance, how many employees there are and what the split is between instruction and non-instruction and administrative ?

            when you do that and come back and report – you can criticize my efforts.. or we could perhaps compare notes … eh? er..that is of course, between fun interludes of “fascist prick” and the like..

          • A couple of interesting things about anti-public education agendas in the US :

            1. – the US is where the public education movement started and it likely propelled us from an uneducated agrarian-based economy to the greatest industrial economy in the world – leapfrogging many older countries that continued with a private-school based education system.

            2. – the rest of the industrialized world adopted the public education model and have excelled at it overtaking the US to leave us in 15th place such that we know for a fact that public education can produce excellent results and potent competitors for global jobs.

            and yet – we in this country have people who would take us back to a 3rd world system – with the justification that we no longer do public education “right”.

            mind you – we don’t aspire to do what the other OCED countries have done to maintain their better systems – we are going to throw ours away all together by claiming we want to give people “choice” which means they won’t have to pay taxes for public education for their own kids… just have others pay it so they can use public monies to privately educate their kids – with little or no achievement standards to assure that public monies are not squandered and no requirement to accept the same demographic populations that public schools have to receive.

            so we end up with these one-side “hit” pieces about “administrative bloat” that then in the fine print defines it as any non-instruction employee but mind you – the title of the study is “administrative bloat”.

            and obvious disparities in the data – enough to leave one scratching their head in wonder as to just how could one state have 70% “bloat” and others 1/2 of that but both have similar achievement results…

            the authors of the study made little attempt to reconcile the disparities – to define the job classifications to show, for instance, what the actual percent of true administrative functions was – across the states – content apparently with using categories that included non-administrative employees – classified as administrative by some systems ( such as has been done in a local school – that did report that data to the state and the state dutifully published it – and the “academic ‘scholars’ ” did use it – as is… without further investigation apparently.

            these kinds of studies seem to emanate on a regular basis from agenda-driven organizations and amazingly each of these “studies” totally backs up their ideological agenda.. but mind you – these are “academic studies” and thus are legitimate as the day is long.

            A POX on this kind of disreputable activity and a double POX on these agenda-driven organizations actually providing a “market” for these really screw-lose type “studies”.

          • 1. – the US is where the public education movement started…

            You have started this long comment badly. If you had done your homework, you would know that mandatory, tax funded, public education was first introduced in Prussia in the 18th century before there even was a US.

            Notice that I provided a relevant reference.

            The rest of your sad comment contains only repetitive misinformation and drivel, and leaves nothing to respond to, except to note with amazement your failure, after so much discussion, to understand the nature of school choice.

          • ” Formal education in the United States dates from 1635, when the Boston Latin School was founded in colonial New England. Grammar schools were established in the larger cities of each colony throughout the rest of the 18th century, as well as several religious colleges. Formal education for women started with the American Revolution, and for black children with the American Civil War. However, Homeschooling remained predominant, especially in the south, until the mid-19th century (the 1840 census revealed that about 55 percent of children attended some form of primary school[5]).
            Government supported, free public schools for all started being established after the revolution, and expanded in the 19th century, as the results of efforts of men like Horace Mann and Booker T. Washington. By 1870, all states had free elementary schools”

            the relevant point is that early on the US instituted public education – before much of the rest of the world – perhaps not Prussia but the movement had a significant start here.

            why do you do this? it’s dumb.

            and your frigging link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States#History

            the much bigger point is that long, long ago, long before your kind came into this world – the majority of American wanted a tax-funded public school system – and they did create one.

            you are an anachronism guy.. you’re out of place and out of time … on this issue. Most Americans STILL want a public education system.. warts and all… and of all the govt entities that people might have the best chance to impact and reject – local level is the best opportunity and yet I’ve not seen a single school district in the 17000 plus where a majority of people have decide to do away with public education in favor of private schools.

            last time we saw that was during massive resistance in the south.

          • And of course there’s this gem – a perfect example of Larry’s cognitive vacuum:

            and obvious disparities in the data – enough to leave one scratching their head in wonder as to just how could one state have 70% “bloat” and others 1/2 of that but both have similar achievement results…

            A person with any reasoning ability could conclude, aided by the positive effects of head scratching, that the number of additional employees in a school district apparently had no effect on educational attainment, and therefore might be an unnecessary waste of taxpayer money.

            But of course Larry, is stopped dead at the head scratching step, and never moves on to any greater level of understanding.

            Of course the entire focus of the Friedman Foundation study is just that kind of head scratching which says, in effect:

            “Wow! Look how the ratio of school employees to pupils have nearly quadrupled since 1950. Is the product – educational attainment – better? Well, no it isn’t. What’s going on here?”

            So Larry agrees with the study, that there’s a mystery, and that the increased number of school employees seems to make no difference in student education attainment – all the while condemning the study as a “hit piece”.

            Nice one, Larry.

          • the much bigger point is that long, long ago, long before your kind came into this world…

            LOL

            My kind? Do you mean self aware individuals who understand their nature as human beings with certain inalienable rights including life, liberty, and pursuit of their own ends, all of which derive from awareness of their self ownership, and the ownership of the products of their labor?

            Why no, Larry, “my kind” have always existed. Only in the last couple of hundred years has the peculiar notion of “The State” arisen, in which the interest of individuals is subordinate to the interests of the collective hive. A system in which compulsory public education indoctrination is required of all children to override the individualist beliefs of their parents with the correct groupthink of the state.

            It’s a peculiar system in which “your kind” believes that they are incapable of managing their own lives in their own self interest, in cooperation with others for mutual benefit, and instead must have a Master who knows best, to tell them what to do and how to think and act.

            That’s the mentality of a slave, not a free man. are you a slave Larry?

            Of course there is also a smaller group of elites – the Masters – who believe they are somehow capable of knowing what’s best for others and should therefore be in charge of everyone else, but I know you’re not smart enough to be part of that group.

          • most folks support paying taxing for needed services.

            that’s “my kind”.

            your kind does not.

            there’s nothing peculiar except with folks like you.

            you’re a hypocrite because you damn the system we have but you won’t move to one that you think is better so you play destructive games.

            this country was founded on the premise that people would vote to support what they wanted or not.

            that’s our system. you damn it but you don’t have the backbone to leave a place you clearly don’t like so you bitch and complain and bully others.. who don’t agree with your wacko views.

            I do not like much of what we end up with in this country – but I do support the system we have. It’s way better than most alternatives.

            we could make changes if we could find things to agree to change but folks like you are not really interested in doing that.. you’re just estranged from it all… and generally unhappy about it but not principled enough to actually do something about it – in part – I suspect – because your realize that what you say you want can only be really found in a 3rd world country.

            so basically you won’t go and want to turn this country into a 3rd world country.

            lucky for the rest of us.. we ain’t buying what you’re selling…

          • but your kind is not really interested in that to start with.

            What my kind is interested in is truth and accuracy and not in stuff you just pull from your ass. How can you just lie like that? You have no principles and no integrity, only a pathological need to defend a corrupt and ineffective system at all costs.

            but the basic point that it started here is pretty close especially since it started by people choosing it – as opposed to an unelected kingdom mandating it.

            No, the basic point is that you lied. You don’t care what you say or what bullshit you spew out as long as you think you are staying true to the cause.

            You’re a disgusting liar, Larry.

          • most folks support paying taxing for needed services.

            Beside the obvious point that you can’t possibly know what other people think, that’s not exactly true in any case. It might be more accurate to say that most people support OTHER people paying taxes for needed services. If most people supported paying taxes there would be no reason to use the threat of force to collect them. The IRS would be unnecessary. Employer withholding would be unnecessary.

          • “Beside the obvious point that you can’t possibly know what other people think,”

            have you heard of local elections? they’re a pretty good indicator as to what people think… you know…

            ” that’s not exactly true in any case. It might be more accurate to say that most people support OTHER people paying taxes for needed services.”

            not where I live – they get up and ask for tax increases for the schools and deputies and fire/ems.

            ” If most people supported paying taxes there would be no reason to use the threat of force to collect them. The IRS would be unnecessary. Employer withholding would be unnecessary.”

            most people support buying cars and homes and getting dental care and fuel oil but there IS “enforcement” ….

            but now you’re once again off the ranch…here..as usual.

            people support taxes for the things they want and oppose taxes for the things they don’t want – that’s a more accurate statement.

            and that’s the problem with schools. Johnny’s parents want the schools to offer Mandarin and Julie’s parents want the schools to offer synchronized swimming..and zelda wants college track classes and tom wants plumbing certification.. etc,..

          • most people support buying cars and homes and getting dental care and fuel oil but there IS “enforcement” ….

            LOL

            No, Larry there is no enforcement involved in people’s *choices* to buy cars, or homes, or dental care, or fuel oil. People *choose* to buy those things – or not – using their own money. No taxpayer money is used, and people can *choose* to buy a car, for example, anywhere they wish. No one is forced to shop at their assigned car dealer, which is the one nearest to where they live.

            Did you mean to write something else?

          • No, Larry there is no enforcement involved in people’s *choices* to buy cars, or homes, or dental care, or fuel oil. People *choose* to buy those things – or not – using their own money. No taxpayer money is used, and people can *choose* to buy a car, for example, anywhere they wish. No one is forced to shop at their assigned car dealer, which is the one nearest to where they live.

            Did you mean to write something else?

            nope. have you ever hear of Re-possession by chance?

          • nope. have you ever hear of Re-possession by chance?

            OMG, Larry! It’s worse than I thought.

            You DID mean to confuse enforcement of a contract with simple exchange.

            A POX on this kind of disreputable activity and a double POX on these agenda-driven organizations actually providing a “market” for these really screw-lose type “studies”.

            So, you aren’t in favor of freedom of speech and freedom of the press?

            and that’s the problem with schools. Johnny’s parents want the schools to offer Mandarin and Julie’s parents want the schools to offer synchronized swimming..and zelda wants college track classes and tom wants plumbing certification.. etc,..

            And all those different forms of instruction are available to anyone who want them, so what you must have meant to write is that those folks want other people to pay for those classes through the public school system.

          • geeze Ron.. when you buy a house, you KNOW that it will be taxed guy.. isn’t that a willing voluntary transaction boy?

            re: freedom of speech – oh for sure…

            re: other people pay – well no.. they’re like you.. they want the money to go for what they want it spent on

          • most folks support paying taxing for needed services.

            that’s “my kind”.

            your kind does not.

            That’s right, Larry. My kind doesn’t believe in stealing from others, just as we don’t like to be stolen from.

            Your kind does. In fact, your kind has no problem using the thuggish, bullying force of the state to coerce any type of activity.

          • geeze Ron.. when you buy a house, you KNOW that it will be taxed guy.. isn’t that a willing voluntary transaction boy?

            You are either hopelessly confused, or willfully obtuse.

            In neither case will I waste any more time on it.

            re: other people pay – well no.. they’re like you.. they want the money to go for what they want it spent on

            It thought my point was fairly easy to understand, but as usual you can’t or won’t even rise to the extremely low level of expectation I have for you.

            I pointed out that all the types of instruction you mentioned are available to anyone who wishes to pay for them through private sources. Therefore, the only reason someone would ask for that instruction through the public school system would be because it’s cheaper when lots of other taxpayers are forced to pay for your choices.

            Is that any better?

          • re: ” Is that any better?”

            let’s see.. they pay taxes.. and they think they should get what they want for the taxes…

            right?

            re: govt “coercion”

            no coercion ROn.. when you buy something that is going to be taxed – you do have a choice guy.

            you can choose not to buy the same if there were too high a price or extra fees… it’s a voluntary transaction.

            you know it’s a continuing cost to use….sorta like an electric bill except you gotta pay taxes to receive services…

            simple concept really …don’t understand why you don’t get it.

        • the relevant point is that early on the US instituted public education – before much of the rest of the world – perhaps not Prussia but the movement had a significant start here.

          No, Larry the Liar, the point is that you claimed the public education movement started in the US, when everyone who knows anything about the subject knows that’s not true. Why don’t you? Your bold statement was totally incorrect, so what follows it is rendered meaningless. And of course as is usual with you, you try to obfuscate to hide the ignorant error.

          and your frigging link:

          It’s understandable that you would be reluctant to provide links to supporting information for your claims, because you don’t generally seem to comprehend what you read, even at the 8th grade level used in must wiki articles.

          Say! Did you even ever go to school? that could explain a lot.

          No one – except you – is confused by your attempt to conflate formal education with public education. They aren’t the same thing, and everyone knows it.

          Public education, as we know it today, began in Prussia as a method for producing obedient, uniform little subjects who weren’t so troubled by individualism and non-collectivist thinking they might learn from their parents, which could be bothersome to the state.

          This great idea was quickly adopted throughout Europe by the beginning if the 19th century, and in the US shortly thereafter, although only in urban centers. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that compulsory attendance was made law in the US.

          One would think that someone who knows as much about education as you pretend to would understand all that. But of course, that would require a reasoning person, so I, for one, understand why you don’t.

          • I will correct my statement that America was one of the first… and in advance of the vast majority of other countries that subsequently had public education.

            but your kind is not really interested in that to start with. that why you diddle with details.

            I do not pretend to know all of it.. but the basic point that it started here is pretty close especially since it started by people choosing it – as opposed to an unelected kingdom mandating it.

            re: ” This great idea was quickly adopted throughout Europe by the beginning if the 19th century, and in the US shortly thereafter, although only in urban centers. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that compulsory attendance was made law in the US.”

            really ? do you have something to back up your claim that all of Europe had it before the US?

            this does not matter in the larger scheme of things anyhow.

            I’ll grant you the timeframe if you want but the point is that Americans wanted it and were willing to pay taxes for it – unlike you.

            that’s the important point. People wanted it and were willing to pay taxes for it – and still are – and people like you never would have and don’t want to now.

            so you parasite off the system you disavow.

      • A variant of Baumol’s Cost Disease could be one explanation. When you add other goals to education other than educating you multiply the effect of BCD. Mark has pointed out before that as highly intelligent women have found work commiserate with their skills outside of education there has been a progressive dumbing down of the teacher pool resulting in poorer student performance which has led to the adding of layer after layer of administrative oversight to solve a problem that can’t be solved short of raising the pay of teachers to attract intelligent women and men. IOW our education system is caught in an inward feedback loop. Charter schools are a response to break out of that destructive loop.

        • You are correct – but given today life styles and what young folks want I don’t think higher salaries will bring smart folks back into the classroom. Real teaching is hard work plus you have to deal with really bad kids and even worse parents.

  9. Propaganda! School profiency results are down because kids are tested too damn much.Most of the school curriculum is focused on a one size fits all standard test.Take the pressure off students by not testing so much,and let the teachers teach the kids like we used to do back in the old times,when school is fun students will learn more.

  10. The really important thing is that the number of kids in school is going down. Education has become a big government employment racket. There are lots of reasons for it, dumbing down of teachers, unions, regulations, etc. but the bottom line is that with fewer kids the total outlay should be smaller and it isn’t. I am also so very tired of hearing about the poor and disabled – it is like LBJ war on poverty – 30 years later plus 1T bucks and we have more poor but lots of well paid government workers that can vote.

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