To redirect resources to the classroom, districts can be told to make 25% across-the-board reductions to spending, and to redirect 10% of this spending to the classroom, achieving budget savings of $1.5 billion and redirecting $1 billion to the classroom.
$10 billion is spent on public education in Washington. 83% of expenditures are on salaries and benefits. Only 47% of
Washington's public school employees are classroom teachers. Over the last ten years, districts have staffed up on certified non-teachers, such as social workers, counselors, nurses, librarians, math specialists, and the like. Growth in number of classified employees (secretaries, aides, operators, bus drivers, etc) has also been substantial.
Some employees are necessary to retain, some are not, and school principals, not district bureaucrats, should be allowed to make these decisions so that resources can be redirected to the classroom instead of continuing to amply fund school district bureaucracies.
An alternative to layoffs is to cancel salary and benefit increases given school employees over the past five years.
Another way to save $1.47 billion is to cut Compensatory Education, Programs 51-69, $947 million, Other Instruction, Programs 71-79, $133 million, Community Service, Programs 81, 86, 88, 89, for $54 million, and 25% of District Wide Support, Program 97, or $337 million. Unless districts can show that these program expenditures are directly related to improving student achievement, which they cannot, they could be eliminated. This leaves intact Basic Education, Special Education, Vocational Education, Food Services and Transportation.
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