Archived Opinion

Waste in education lies with many bureaucrats

To the editor:

Oh yeah, then there are the children.

How many bureaucrats does it take to educate a child? It must take more than seems to make sense. In Raleigh, we have 800 that are on the payroll of the Department of Public Instruction. The budget for this group of non-teaching employees is $153,000,000 (The well-paying job of one of them is to order magazines.)

Then we have to add The State Board of Education, 115 local School Boards, School Superintendents and Associate Superintendents with their staffs, Principals and Assistant Principals; then we have Psychologists, Resource Officers, Human Resource Directors, Guidance Counselors, Water Quality Directors, Staff Development Directors, Cultural Arts Program Directors, Federal Programs Directors, Community Schools Program Directors, Child Nutritionists, Nurses, Safe Schools Program Directors, Special Needs Program Directors, Public Relations Directors, Migrant Education Program Directors and social workers.

All of this before a single child encounters a single teacher. Gee, and I thought education was about the children.

It’s generally an accepted fact that in most states only 40 to 50 cents of every dollar spent on education actually reaches the classroom. Gee, and I thought education was about the children.

It’s not hard to understand why Catholic Schools, Christian Schools, private schools and charter schools (both public and private) deliver a far better product with much higher graduation rates and test scores at about half the cost. The teachers are not hindered by the performance stifling effects of layers and layers of bureaucrats administering regulation upon regulation. The Principal runs the school and the teachers teach the children. Maybe in these schools it really is about the children.

Is it any wonder that all of these well paid, non-teaching bureaucrats and the politicians that are handsomely supported by the unions wage fierce battles to maintain the status quo and keep out other options for the parents? After all, who is hurt by this self-serving cartel? It’s only the children.

Beverly Elliott

Clyde, NC

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