There is just too much money sucked up by the public education system (K-12) with too many bureaucrats who have devoted their lives to keeping the cash flowing, and indeed to increase the cash flow taken at gunpoint from their tax payers within their districts. These bureaucrats have now feather bedded each school to the point that they are nothing more than bottomless money pits that suck the very life blood out of their communities, and drive property tax rates through the roof to support such opulence, extravagance and waste.
For each child within a typical public school, there might be in any one school district approximately .5 administrators/support staff/teachers on the public payroll making sure that the taxes freely flow in to support this child. Two kids, one public school employee. It is simply unsustainable in the long run.
And the long run is now here.
When I went to public school (6th grade, 1966), my school had 25 kids per class, and the elementary school I attended (Ida Patterson Elementary, Eugene OR) had two classes per grade, K-6. That equaled 175 kids in this building from September through June, a typical school year.
The staff of this public school in 1966 consisted of the following:
- 1 teacher per classroom, or 14 total teachers.
- 1 principal
- 3 administrative personnel
- 1 school nurse, who served 4 other local schools also
- 1 janitor/handyman/maintenance guy
This ancient school had no buses, because we walked or rode our bikes to school. There were no lunch ladies, cooks, dishwashers, cafeterias, none of that. We ate lunch at our desks, and the independent milk man delivered a case of milk to each teacher, and she charged each kid 4 cents for a carton of milk to go along with their brown bag lunch which was packed by their loving parents.
No special education/high risk student teachers, no language teachers, no truant officers, no security personnel, no bus drivers, no bus maintenance facility, no mechanics, no mechanic supervisors, no mechanical facility administrators, none of this garbage.
And somehow, we were taught the elementary subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic (the Three Rs).
My daughter's elementary school in 2013 consisted of the following staff to educate grades (K-5) of approx 150 students:
- 35 teachers, to include special needs/education teachers, language teachers, speech therapists, physical education teachers, science teachers, librarians, and then the regular grade school general subject teachers.
- 1 principal
- 1 vice principal
- 1 attendance principal
- 4 gym/physical ed teachers
- 2 security personnel
- 14 general office administrators
- 17 cafeteria staff, to include a cafeteria manager and assistant manager
- 7 bus drivers
- 5 bus/equipment maintenance workers
- 10 misc. employees, whose duties are nebulous at best
The math here is not hard. That's a LOT of public school employees, and the community is satisfied that this is the least, bare bones level of staffing that we can live with to educate our children. We simply cannot function with less.
Bond issues are voted on each year to try and increase the funding to the local schools, since they are always cash strapped. Any attempt to reign in this profligate spending on this bloated system is vilified, and cries of 'but it's for the children!' are blasted from bullhorns held by teacher's union goons.
These public school employees are so entrenched, and have so ingrained into our conscience that we need all of this crap so that our children receive the education they deserve, there is just no possibility that a single penny can be cut from the ever growing bureaucracy.
There is simply no hope of fixing this. It just needs to be dumped in its entirety and started again from the beginning. But parents will not put up with any significant changes, since it is the way it has been since, well, forever.
No, it hasn't always been like this.