Wichita schools: why so many employees?

Tomorrow evening USD 259, the Wichita public school district, is holding two meetings seeking input from the public on budget matters.

Perhaps someone will ask a few questions about why spending has been increasing so fast. The trend in the number of students for each employee would be a good question. The chart below shows the trend for the number of students (full-time equivalent) for each certified employee.

Wichita students per certified school employee

Over a period of 12 school years, the number of students per employee has declined from 13.7 to 10.9. In percentage terms, that’s 20.4%. This increasing number of employees, both absolute and in terms of the number of employees per student, is expensive.

The employee count used in these calculations is “certified employees.” (For a look at all employees, click on Wichita school employee-student ratio drops.) For the 2008 to 2009 school year, here are the figures, from the Kansas State Department of Education:

Assoc.Asst. Superintendents5.0
Administrative Assistants0.0
Assistant Principals74.6
Directors/Supervisors Spec. Ed.17.0
Directors/Supervisors of Health0.0
Directors/Supervisors of Voc. Ed.0.0
Instructional Coordinators/Supervisors14.0
All Other Directors/Supervisors29.0
Other Curriculum Specialists0.0
Practical Arts/Vocational Teachers133.0
Special Ed. Teachers529.7
Prekindergarten Teachers46.0
Kindergarten Teachers200.0
All Other Teachers2,564.3
Library Media Specialists71.1
School Counselors108.9
Clinical or School Psychologists58.5
Speech Pathologists66.9
School Social Work Services96.2
Reading Specialists/Teachers50.4


  • School systems have some many employees because they are no longer schools but social service agencies. Teachers are asked to be nurses, parents, advisers, pals, mentors, and to teach if there is time left. Recruiting for at risk students is expected and everyone is at risk….more money you know! And then the entire system has to be brought together by a huge bureaucracy of high paid tenure individuals that hated teaching anyways.

  • This only makes sense with the latests trends with NCLB and pressure for schools to make AYP. It is absolutely proven that the optimum class size for learning is 15 to 20 students. (That’s normal, healthy, attentive students.) Unfortunately the “regular kid” is a minority, not just in Wichita, but in America. More and more children are coming with severe social/emotional problems, learning deficits and sensory integration problems. Many elementary students are disturbingly violent. To maintain order so that learning can occur, more adults are required.

    The culture and problems of the American school is a predictor of the societal problems in American in 10 to 15 years….

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