Preliminary DPI Personnel Data Shows Increase in State-Supported Education Personnel
Preliminary public school personnel data from the Department of Public Instruction shows that the number of state-supported public education personnel increased by 4,720 over the previous year.
The data stands in stark contrast to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s claims Republican state budget cuts have resulted in larger class sizes, and the loss of thousands of teacher and teacher assistant positions.
Upon reviewing the DPI raw data, one must wonder on what data Perdue is basing her claims.
The gains in state-funded education personnel were offset by significant losses at the federal (7,330) and local (2,077) levels. Most North Carolina public education employees are funded by state funds, but several thousand others are funded with federal or local financial support.
Change in Public School Employees by Funding Source, 2011-2012
|Change over Previous Year||Percentage Change Over Previous Year|
|State Education Employees||+4720||+3.7%|
|Federal Education Employees||-7,330||-28%|
|Local Education Employees||-2,077||-7.3%|
|All Education Employees||-4,687||-2.6%|
Gov Perdue has been highly critical of Republican budget policies. She has declared on numerous occasions that state budget policies have resulted in the loss of thousands of teacher jobs.
But according to the DPI data, the number of state-funded teachers in North Carolina increased by 2,155.
Regarding the overall public education numbers, full-time personnel data for 2011-12 found 4,687 education jobs were lost in 2011-12, a decline of 2.6 percent from the previous year.
No doubt the federal and local funded education staff reductions are traceable in part to the end of federal stimulus funding directed toward education, as well as decisions by local officials not to continue funding positions or programs. According to the DPI data, reductions in federal and local funding — not the state budget — are the major factors driving job losses in education.
If Perdue is to be critical of budgetary cutbacks to public education personnel, the DPI data suggests she should direct her comments toward local education agencies and Washington D.C.
The data used in this article and available in the attached spreadsheet was obtained from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) via a public records request. It cannot be overemphasized that the data is preliminary and has not been validated by DPI. If DPI staff learns that data was submitted incorrectly, changes would be made in the final personnel counts. It is our understanding that DPI expects to release the final figures within the next week or so.
While this data may not be perfect, it is the best available data on teacher and staff job counts. The data is reported by Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and submitted to DPI for review. That it shows the Governor’s claims to be largely inaccurate is a conclusion that is hard to ignore. It also makes one question the validity of the Governor’s jobs claims, as the only currently available data contradicts her comments.
Access Public School Personnel Changes by LEA at: Preliminary-DPI-School-Personnel-Data-2012