••• Education •••

School districts prioritize hiring management over teachers

In the past decade, the state legislature has increased funding to schools by nearly $2 BILLION. Local school boards, which are responsible for deciding how to spend the money, have chosen to take that additional money and prioritize hiring manager positions over teachers.

According to data gleaned from the Kansas State Department of Education, in the past ten years, the number of managers statewide has increased by 10.6%, nearly double the 5.4% increase in the number of classroom teachers during that time.

“Manager” includes superintendents, asst. superintendents, principals, asst. principals, directors, instruction coordinators and curriculum specialists.

Not only are local boards hiring managers at a greater rate, they are also giving them bigger pay raises. Since 2009, KSDE reports that average teacher pay is only 2.5% higher while principal pay is up 5.6% and superintendents make an average of 7.9% more. In some districts, school boards choose to pay bus drivers and maintenance workers MORE than many teachers!

Despite all the additional funding, overall student performance remains virtually flat and achievement gaps along income lines are both significant and persistent. An effective way to address those issues would be to prioritize spending in classrooms, not in administrative halls.

That is one way to put Kansas students first.