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Are More Taxes the Only Option to Save Teacher Jobs and Balance the State Budget?

Since the 1999-2000 school year, North Carolina has hired 16,680 new teachers. In addition, 9,867 new non-teaching positions have been created.

Are more taxes the only option to save teacher jobs and balance the state budget?  

Governor Perdue has recommended $1.6 billion in new taxes in order to protect classrooms from additional cuts and save teacher jobs. The governor’s comments create a false dilemma: taxes or teacher layoffs. 

Her position ignores two realities. First, K-12 education spending comprises 37 percent of all state spending, by far the largest spending category. If the education budget is off limits for additional cuts, balancing the state budget will force additional and deeper cuts to come elsewhere. Second, over the past decade, there has been significant growth in the number of nonteaching education personnel. A review of recent trends is enlightening:

Percent Increase In Student Enrollment and Selected Personnel

  • While student enrollment has increased 17 percent since 1999-00, the number of new teachers has increased 23 percent.
  • Instructional Support personnel has increased 40 percent
  • New education personnel increased 22 percent

The numbers behind the trends: All local, state and federal positions

  • 39,896 new education positions have been created.
  •  20,472 new teachers have been hired, 19,425 non-teaching positions have been added. That’s almost one new non-teaching position for every teacher hired.
  •  4,717 new Instructional Support personnel have been hired.

If we consider only state-funded positions:  

  • North Carolina has  added 26,547 new education personnel including 16,680 new teachers.
  •  9,867 nonteaching personnel have been hired. One new non-teaching position is created for every two state-funded teaching positions.  
  • 2,740 new state-funded instructional support positions have been added since 1999-00. These include guidance counselors, librarians and school psychologists.

Are Teacher Layoffs the Only Option?
Since 1999-00, North Carolina has hired nearly 10,000 new nonteaching educational personnel. That’s approximately 87 new nonteaching personnel per school district. Protecting the classroom is important but this data shows it is possible to make significant reductions in other staff before removing classroom teachers.

New State-Funded Education Personnel in North Carolina by Category

APPENDIX I

New Education Personnel By Year
(Totals include positions funded by state, local and federal dollars)

 

New Education Personnel

New Teachers

New Non-Teaching Personnel Hired   

New Instructional Support Personnel

1999-00

5,003

1,763

3,240

530

2000-01

3,702

1,768

1,934

237

2001-02

3,343

1,749

1,594

407

2002-03

2,829

1,650

1,179

469

2003-04

3,001

2,390

611

253

2004-05

5,500

2,710

2,790

517

2005-06

5,642

3,472

2,170

435

2006-07

3,718

1,413

2,305

885

2007-08

3,494

2,134

1,360

202

2008-09

3,664

1,422

2,242

782

Totals

39,896

20,471

19,425

4,717

Source: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Highlights of North Carolina Public School Budget for selected years and North Carolina Statistical Profile of the Public Schools for selected years.

(Categories include all positions financed by local, state and federal funds)

Notes: Non-Teaching Positions Include – New Education Personnel = New Teachers Hired + New Non-Teaching Personnel. New Instructional Support is a selected component of New Non-Teaching Personnel. 

Teachers: Numbers include Elementary (K-8); Secondary (9-12) and other teachers (those who cannot be clearly defined as either elementary or secondary). Non-Teaching Personnel includes all personnel categories except teaching. These include: officials, administrators and managers, guidance personnel, school psychiatrists and social workers, media coordinators and audio-visual staff, consultants, professional staff ( speech therapists, nurses, architects, attendance officers etc…) technicians, clerks/secretaries, service workers, craftsmen and laborers.  Instructional Support Personnel Include guidance, psychological, librarian audio-visual and consultants who have actual contact with students.

APPENDIX II

New State-Funded Education Personnel By Year
(Total Includes only Positions funded by State dollars)

Year

New State – Funded Education Personnel

New State-Funded Teachers

New State-Funded Non-Teaching Personnel

New State-Funded Instructional Support Staff

1999-00

3,889

1,283

2,606

358

2000-01

1,565

1,037

528

168

2001-02

1,234

1,203

31*

181*

2002-03

1,579

1,059

520

279

2003-04

1,883

1,965

- 82*

3

2004-05

3,649

2,110

1,539

234

2005-06

3,104

2,694

410

247

2006-07

4,003

2,201

1,802

589

2007-08

4,128

2,256

1,872

368

2008-09

1,513

872

641

313

Total Staff Hired

26,547

16,680

9,867

2,740

Source: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget (for selected years) and North Carolina Statistical Profile for the Public Schools (for selected years). New State-funded Non-Teaching personnel include all categories (administrative, instructional support, and non-professional staff) except teachers. For definitions of other categories see notes on Appendix I. If totals for “New State-Funded Non-Teaching Personnel” are less than totals for New State-Funded Instructional Support Staff” or are represented by a negative number, the totals reflect a decline in the number of jobs in certain categories. 

This article was posted in Budget & Taxes by Bob Luebke on July 28, 2009 at 9:35 AM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2009/are-more-taxes-only-option-save-teacher-jobs-and-balance-stat/

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