If an average classroom size is about 25 students and we multiply that by the average spending, that gives us $275,000 per year per classroom. If you’re in a school with 40 classrooms that’s $11 million per year to run a school. “But Kira, not all that money is for the classroom. What about principals, staff, and other administrators at the district and state level? Surely those things suck some money out of the classroom.” You have pinpointed the exact problem. Indeed, much of that money does get funneled to staff and off-site administration. So much that in many places administrative costs have massively outpaced school population growth. In some states, like Louisiana, the public school population actually decreased even as administrative hires exponentially increased.
From 1950 to 2009 the student population increased by 95% while school personnel grew by 386%. In contrast, teacher hirings increased by just 252% while administrators and other school staff increased by a shocking 702%.
The actual post started from a very different place and wound up here – go read it. I will tell you how LITTLE money is actually directly related to the kids (textbooks, paper, et al) in our school budget – it is almost shameful when compared to the teacher salaries (if memory serves me well, a handful of teachers (with a finger or two left over) cost more than an entire school’s supplies). And our enrollment has dropped significantly over the last few years while costs continue to climb:
In 1974 when we became our own School District, there were 1,555 students.