Arnold Kling  

Leviathan Montgomery

Libertyman... Helping the Wrong Side...

A new blog about the county where I live reports,

[The County's Chief Executive] proposes a 6.3% increase over the current budget...the county projects an additional 170 personnel work-years over the current year. And, to top it all off, that increased spending budget is to serve fewer students than the current population.

Last December, I noted,

if you divide school enrollment of 137,798 by number of employees, 21,840, you get a ratio of one employee for every 6.3 students. My daughters have been in classes that are four or five times that big. Apparently, the vast majority of school system employees do not teach in a classroom.

The story said that 89 percent of the $1.98 billion budget goes to employee compensation. Dividing this by the number of employees gives average compensation of $80,686 per employee. If the non-teaching staff are bus drivers, cafeteria workers and janitors, then they are very well paid!

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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Bill writes:

I've used such statistics in discussions concerning public education with college-educated people who vote regularly. Very few seem to see the problem, even when it is laid-out for them. I've come to the conclusion that democracy must fail because the demos is either too ignorant or unintelligent for it to work.

Will some genius please come up with a better system than majoritarian democracy?!

Majoritarian democracy = oppression of the minority

Robb writes:

So let me simplify your argument a little. Bill Gates walks into a diner where two cops are having coffee. Someone tells you that the average income of the people in the diner is 3 billion a year. Your response is "boy, the cops in this town sure make a lot of money".

C L writes:

Montgomery county is an educational utopia compared to its neighbor, the District of Columbia.

Christina writes:

The explaination for the high average salary is obvious: mega bucks for non-teaching administrators like the 10 principals per high school, and hundreds or thousands of paper-pushers down at the central (or area) offices.

When I was in high school ten years ago, the place was crawling with administrators. My mom was shocked. Her high school, which had at least twice the student population of mine, had only a principal, secretary, and custodian.

Also, it is important to note that an administrative position is the holy grail to most public school teachers. It get's them out of the classroom and it's where the big money is to be made. The current principal of my alma mater told my little sister (her student at the time) that she was working on her PhD in Education so she could make big bucks as an administrator. And according to my sister, she was among the worst teachers the school had. How's that for a cheery thought?

By the way, I remember hearing that the DC Public Schools have more administrators working in the central office than it has teachers system-wide. So next time you hear that DC spends oodles of money per pupil, but has crumbling buildings and imcompetant teachers, remember that most of the money never even gets to the schools. It's being spent on curriculum coordinators and filing clerks.

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