RALEIGH – A lot of political attention has been paid to the issue of teacher pay over the last several years. In a growing state, we’re going to need more teachers, and more teachers can be attracted with better pay, a common logic holds.
Often lost in that conversation, though, is just how much the growth of administrative staff — school staff that do not teach children — has run circles around the hiring of new teachers.
For every teacher frustrated with their pay, or their budget for school supplies, there is probably an overpaid administrator in their school that adds very little to the sound education of children.
The Civitas Institute’s Bob Luebke has drawn attention to an analysis of these administrative rolls in schools nationwide, and how administrative positions have grown dramatically more than teaching positions. Luebke wondered how North Carolina looked as a state on this front. While it was less alarming than the national numbers, it still shows new administrative staff at nearly twice the rate of growth as teachers.
Source: NC Statistical Profile (2000) and Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget (2017)
The North Carolina data clearly show the disparities in increases between school district administrative staff, principals, and the number of teachers hired are no where near what the disparities at the national level. Still, the growth of administrative staff in North Carolina, also outpaced teacher hiring over the same time period. Are there eye brows being raised? […]”
Contrary to the narrative that Republican state lawmakers have sole control over the human resources and compensation strategies of North Carolina’s school districts, the districts themselves have quite a lot of influence on those matters.
Supplemental teacher pay for instance, but also a district’s bureaucratic bloat is within their control. Wake County may have a lot of teachers who feel they are underpaid; Wake County Public Schools System also has a Chief Diversity Officer that makes six figures, leading an Equity Affairs office staffed with even more overpaid Woke administrators.
And that barely scratches the surface. Conversations around education, its funding, and pay for teachers should also include an honest look at the malignant growth of education bureaucracy when discussing funding priorities.
And that’s why, as Luebke writes in a later blog post, that local school board elections are so important:
“[…] Historically, conservatives have not been as vocal about down ballot races. That’s a mistake. Education is often the largest expenditure for state and local government. Local school board members not only make budget and policy decisions that impact the day-to-day operations of how our schools are financed and administered but also how our children are educated. Few local positions are as consequential.
Now more than ever, we need conservatives who are actively engaged and informed about how local schools are run. Sections 36 and 47 of Chapter 115C-36 of the North Carolina state statutes lay out the powers and duties of school boards. Generally speaking, board members set education policy consistent with the state’s education program, make decisions about the superintendent’s personnel recommendations, manage financial affairs and work to ensure schools have adequate facilities. […]”
If you haven’t voted already, take a few brief moments to discover who you should support in those down ballot races of the upmost importance. Read more from Bob Luebke about why it’s so critical, here.