Pupil numbers down, school staff numbers up


It was reported recently that Maine’s school enrollment is projected to drop below 190,000, down dramatically from 216,000 only a decade ago. The Department of Education expects enrollment to continue dropping, bottoming up at about 175,000 students in 2013.

But what has happened to the number of educational staff members?

According to the DOE’s website, there were little over 30,500 full time educational staff members statewide for the 1995-1996 school year – as far back as the website goes.

By 2003-2004, there were about 34,600.

The state then switched to the MEDMS accounting system. It does not seem to break down the staff listings as before, but does list “Total number of staff” now as 39,885.

That would mean 9,000 more staff members in our schools now compared to
1995-1996 – a 30% increase – despite declining enrollment.

No wonder our per-pupil spending is among the nation’s highest…