Kansas one of 14 states to hire more teachers as enrollment falls

Education Week says that some states may have hired too many teachers, which is causing some turmoil in schools as districts resort to laying off staff:

An increase in teacher hiring in recent years has led some observers to posit a link to the waves of pink slips districts are now sending across the country.

Thus far, hiring patterns have not been widely studied as part ofthe current discussion about layoffs. But national data from the U.S. Department of Education and from the National Education Association’s annual “Ranking & Estimates” reportRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader show that between the 1999-2000 and the 2007-08 school years the teacher force grew at more than double the rate of K-12 student enrollments.

A table that accompany the story says that Kansas is one of only 14 states that has increased the teaching force even as enrollment fell. Between the 1999-2000 school year and the 2007-08 school year, student enrollment fell by 0.8%, but the number of teachers employed rose by 7.8%.

Kansas was low on the list as far as declining enrollment. Only Pennsylvania and Maryland lost as few students as Kansas did on a percentage basis, with Vermont topping out the list with a 10% decline.

The state that added the most to its teaching staff was Pennsylvania, where the staff grew by 18%. Maryland’s staff grew by 16.3%, and Kansas ranked sixth out of 14.

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