APS administrators becoming less efficient while increasing teacher workloads

In the face of a declining traditional school student enrollment and a reduced teacher workforce, the number of administrators is increasing. And what is the result? Based on the data over the last two years and the approved budget for FY15, the workload trends for teachers is going up while the workload for administrators – as measured by the number of personnel they support – is coming down.

The chart below (click to enlarge) identifies the staffing numbers for all administrative functions in APS that are accounted for in the General Fund.

FY15 Admin staffing 042514

With this information, we can then begin to see the trends in how the workload is being distributed.

First, the average number of students per teacher is going up – not dramatically, but up 2.2% in the last two years. Obviously, this trend is counter to the desire by the Board to reduce average class sizes. But it also tells us that the workload carried by a teacher is increasing.

And while it is clear that the number of administrators is rising, it is troubling to see that the number of people they are supporting is coming down. This indicates that instead of getting more efficient, the administrative functions are getting less efficient in the conduct of their responsibilities.

As you can see, the number of teachers is down 79 as compared to last year and down 127 over two years. However, the number of central office school administrators is going up and, as a result, the number of teachers supported per central office school administrator is coming down. Over two years this has decreased by 2.9 or 7.7%. Again, this indicates that the workload for central school administrators is decreasing while the workload for teachers is increasing.

The case is also the same for General & Administrative staff. Their functions support all of the staff in the district and their workload – as measured by the number of non-G&A staff they support – is coming down as well. In FY13, each G&A staff supported 18.5 district personnel – in FY15 the number of personnel has come down to 16.9, or an 8.9% decrease. This is a strong indication that the efficiency of the G&A staff is declining.

Teacher workloads are up and administrative function workloads are down. This is not an indication of an improving and more efficient group of administrators.

It is time to radically change the trends and to focus the staffing where it counts the most – not into administrative functions – but into direct instruction where they have a chance to improve educational outcomes.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

One Response to APS administrators becoming less efficient while increasing teacher workloads

  1. Abby Martin says:

    Excellent points.

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