Our friends at the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA) have stumbled upon some interesting NCES data regarding school staffing. The data for 2009-2010 reveals the K-12 school district workforce nationally shrunk about 1.5 percent. Certainly a plausible figure.
Once you get below the national level however, some curiosities emerge. A review of state data shows about half the states experienced a decline in staffing; while the other half experienced increases. Here in North Carolina, school district staffing declined 3 percent. That sounds about right. Still, the size of staff declines in California (-25.1 percent) and Alabama (-12.3 percent) catch your attention as do staff increases in Kansas (+22.1 percent ) or Kentucky (+18.2 percent) ….The biggest eye popper is the 26.5 percent increase in school district staffing in New Jersey where Chris Christy assumed office in January of 2010.
I’m no fan of the Obama administration’s $70 billion education stimulus programs. The plan was intended to prevent massive layoffs of education personnel and included many provisions to maintain high employment levels. The variation in this data leads you to believe money wasn’t spent properly or people were having great difficulty counting.