Miami does more with less (about half of Madison’s per student spending)

Joanne Jacobs:

Public-school enrollment grew by 16 percent from 1994 to 2017, the number of teachers by  28 percent and the number of all other staff grew 51 percent, according to Ben Scafidi of Kennesaw State. The “staffing surge” has inflated school budgets.

But not in Miami-Dade, the fourth-largest district in the U.S., writes Michael Q. McShane  in Education Next. By adding teachers, but not administrators, Miami schools are doing more with less.

Miami spends $9,240 per student per year, compared to more than $13,400 in Chicago, which has a similar cost of living, writes McShane. Yet, “compared with other large cities, Miami-Dade tends to end up near the top.”

How? In Miami-Dade, from 1994 to 2017, the number of students rose 16 percent, the number of teachers 35 percent, and the number all other staff 18 percent, Scafidi’s research shows.

McShane credits Alberto Carvalho, who became superintendent in 2008, for cutting administrative staff by 55 percent. Former educators moved to schools to work directly with students; others were laid off.

Latest Madison school district tax and spending data.