Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fwd: Policy Brief: Education Employment Grows by Leaps and Bounds

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From: Allegheny Institute <>
Date: Friday, April 15, 2011
Subject: Policy Brief: Education Employment Grows by Leaps and Bounds
To: Allegheny Institute <>

Policy BriefAn electronic publication of The Allegheny Institute for
Public PolicyApril 15, 2011

                 Volume 11, Number 23  Education Employment Grows by
Leaps and Bounds School districts around the region and across the
Commonwealth are grappling with the realities of the coming fiscal
year and exploring methods of cost-savings and revenue enhancements.
In recent weeks the possibilities of furloughs, pay freezes, tax
increases, school closures, mergers, and student fees (either
separately or in combination) have been mentioned.  In a visit to
southwestern Pennsylvania last week the Governor said "We're going to
work with school districts and see what they can do…" He went on to
say that there might have to be some consolidations or mergers. This
came on the heels of his request to reopen labor contracts and
negotiate pay freezes. To date the Pennsylvania School Boards
Association has reported that 56 districts across the state have
negotiated a wage freeze with some or all of their employees
(teachers, administrators, or staff).

It is worth exploring what happened in the past decade in Pennsylvania
to assess the current situation. While school enrollment fell,
employee headcount in elementary and secondary education grew.
Employment outpaced the growth in population and local government
employment by a wide margin. The U.S. Census Survey of Local
Government Employment and Payroll provides data on nearly thirty
categories of local personnel, everything from police and fire to
water and sewerage. Elementary and secondary education employment is
the largest category in Pennsylvania, representing 60 percent of all
local full time equivalents (FTE) in 2009. It has two sub-categories
(instructional employees and other employees) that totaled 265,620
FTE. All other local government employment FTE in Pennsylvania
amounted to 176,404. From 2001 through 2009 the education category
grew 24 percent, from 214,968 to 265,620. That was eight times as fast
as local government employment excluding elementary and secondary
education, which grew only 3 percent. It also rose much faster than
the state's population (3%), and greatly exceeded the change in public
school enrollment, which actually decreased (-2% from 1.821 million to
1.780 million). Another way of looking at this is to examine
employment to population. In 2001, there were 175 education FTE per
10,000 people; by 2009, the rate was 211 per 10,000. On a per 100
student basis, the FTE rate grew from 11.8 to 14.9. Category20012009%
ChangeTotal Local Government FTE386,907442,02414%Elem/Sec
FTE214,968265,62024%Non Elem/Sec FTE171,939176,4043%State
Population12,281,05412,604,7673%Public School
Enrollment1,821,6071,780,413-2% At the same time, Pennsylvania's
performance on the SAT exam showed no improvement. The math score was
essentially unchanged while the reading score slipped slightly.
Clearly the enormous growth in education employment and spending is
the result of the belief that education will improve with more
resources. And just as clearly the data for the last decade proves
once again the fallacy of that belief.  The 2011-12 state budget
together with a proposal to begin a limited voucher program are likely
to dramatically alter the employment and spending trajectory in
elementary and secondary education in Pennsylvania. Eric Montarti,
Senior Policy Analyst
                                              Jake Haulk, Ph.D.,
President For updates and commentary on daily issues please visit our
blog at If you have enjoyed reading this
Policy Brief and would like to send it to a friend, please feel free
to forward it to them.


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

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