Close

Press Release

Cardinal Institute Releases New Paper Examining Staffing Surge in West Virginia’s Public Education System  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: September 16th, 2020

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Amanda Kieffer, Communications Associate at Cardinal Institute for WV Policy

PHONE: (304)-541-9551  EMAIL: [email protected]

 

 

Cardinal Institute Releases New Paper Examining Staffing Surge in West Virginia’s Public Education System

 

Charleston, W.Va. – Today, the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy is releasing its newest research paper on education finance entitled The Mountain State’s K-12 Staffing Trends: Is there a staffing surge in West Virginia’s public education system?

 

American public schools have been experiencing a staffing surge for more than six decades. Between FY 1950 and FY 2015, while enrollment doubled, the number of school personnel hired by districts increased 386 percent. Using data reported by the West Virginia Department of Education to the National Center for Education Statistics, this paper examines whether individual public school districts in West Virginia experienced their own staffing surges.

 

“We evaluated every school district in West Virginia from FY1987 through FY2019 to see if our state has experienced what’s known as a ‘staffing surge,’” said Garrett Ballengee, Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy. “Unlike most states, West Virginia has seen a fairly drastic decline in enrollment and, to some extent teachers, yet administrators and staff decreased at a much, much slower rate — 24 percent decline in enrollment, 18 percent decline in teaching staff and only a 3 percent decline in administrators.”

 

“For some reason, administrators and all other staff seem much less likely to see staffing decreases when compared with teachers. This ‘stickiness’ has cost West Virginia’s taxpayers quite a lot of money.” continued Ballengee. “West Virginia’s taxpayers are already very generous and times are certainly tough right now, so we think this could be an additional avenue for savings across the state. Dollars need to be finding their way into the classroom and funding students, not providing well-paid administrative positions for those who have little to do with in-class education.”

 

If school districts in West Virginia had kept the change in administrators and all other staff at the same rate as student enrollment over the period studied, school districts could have had $200 million in annually recurring savings. These savings could have been directed at other educational areas:

 

  • increasing teacher salaries by an average of $10,500.

 

  • providing education savings accounts (ESAs) worth $8,000 to increase educational opportunities for families of about 25,000 students statewide.

 

To schedule an interviewcontact Amanda Kieffer at 304-541-9551 or [email protected]

 

About the Cardinal Institute

The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit founded in September 2014 dedicated to research, develop and communicate effective free market economic public policies for West Virginia.

 

###