An statistically inclined reader analyzes the state’s numbers on the new K-12 funding package and produces this table and chart showing how the new target student-teacher ratios on which the new school funding formula is based relate to actual staffing ratios in our 150 school districts.
The blue curve is where we are; the red curve is where the new funding formula in Senate Bill 131 says we should be. Taken by group, most small and medium school districts need to shed some teachers (or take on a bunch more students!) to climb up to the prescribed red ratios.
My calculations, which have focused on individual schools rather than aggregates by enrollment or other factors, show 118 schools with staffing totals higher than what the new K-12 formula will fund. The 45 smallest schools all have lower student-teacher ratios (i.e., more teachers) than SB 131 says they should. The median enrollment of the 32 schools that have student-teacher ratios higher than the formula funds is 973; the average enrollment among those lucky schools (lucky because they will get funding for more teachers than they currently have) is 2,019.
The above table and chart subsume those specifics into group averages, but they support the same conclusion: our new K-12 funding formula says that about 80% of our school districts have too many teachers, and in general, only our largest school districts, mostly those with four-digit enrollment (15 out of 23 of them, by my count), are achieving the staff efficiency our Governor and Legislature expect.