Wichita student/employee ratio tells a story


If you’re looking for part of the reason why spending on public schools, in particular USD 259, the Wichita public school district, is increasing so fast, look at the number of students for each employee.

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 the 2008 to 2009 school year, here are the figures, from the Kansas State Department of Education:

Superintendent 1.0
Assoc.Asst. Superintendents 5.0
Administrative Assistants 0.0
Principals 85.0
Assistant Principals 74.6
Directors/Supervisors Spec. Ed. 17.0
Directors/Supervisors of Health 0.0
Directors/Supervisors of Voc. Ed. 0.0
Instructional Coordinators/Supervisors 14.0
All Other Directors/Supervisors 29.0
Other Curriculum Specialists 0.0
Practical Arts/Vocational Teachers 133.0
Special Ed. Teachers 529.7
Prekindergarten Teachers 46.0
Kindergarten Teachers 200.0
All Other Teachers 2,564.3
Library Media Specialists 71.1
School Counselors 108.9
Clinical or School Psychologists 58.5
Nurses 79.2
Speech Pathologists 66.9
Audiologists 0.0
School Social Work Services 96.2
Reading Specialists/Teachers 50.4
Others 0.0
Total 4,229.8


4 responses to “Wichita student/employee ratio tells a story”

  1. Mark Redeker

    As seems to be the trend in everything government we keep on getting less for more money! Back in the good old days when I was in school I did not have to bring in all kinds of supplies for my school to function. Now my kids are always sent home with wish lists of things there schools or teachers feel the school could use, that are appearantly unfunded.
    It seems as though all school extra curricular activities are under funded and require the parent to spend a lot of money if they want their child to participate.
    When will the tax payers start to hold the government responsible for the efficient use of our tax dollars?

  2. Wichitator

    These figures exclude the numerous bus drivers, lunch room aides and other part time employees. The district used to maximize its number of employees to try to rise to the top of the list of largest employers in the Wichita Business Journal’s annual list.

    Actually, this is a sign of decreasing educational productivity. The larger number of people to educate basically the same number of students each year with about the same level of achievement is a sign of productivity declines and ultimately, economic weakness.

  3. craig gabel

    A good example of this problem is evident at Truesdale,
    50 years ago there were 40 employees when it first opened. Now there are 140. I have been told that a lot of the increase is the result of the special education need that are now addressed at that school. But the simple fact of life is that when the Federal Government created the monopoly, that public education represents, it destroyed any competition to excel. All monopolies produce the same effect, waste, inefficiencies, and self protecting bureaucracies.

  4. kimpot54

    Well, one thing’s for certain: The majority of 259 teachers does not have just 11 students in their classrooms. After seeing Bob’s article about the survey comparing private school teachers to public school teachers, I’m guessing there is much so-called “support staff” downtown doing higher-level tasks that teachers would be better off (and more fulfilled) doing themselves, because they are closer to the classroom. But then that would take away from the time they spend doing useless tasks that have no positive impact on students. Talk to public school teachers privately, and they’ll tell you this stuff, but don’t expect them to come forward and put their necks on the chopping block. Union mind control is pervasive in 259: if you don’t agree, you just keep your mouth shut.

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