Why does Kentucky’s public-school teacher to other staff ratio remain one of the worst in the nation?
I just updated the graph below with the latest available data on Kentucky’s ranking among the states for the ratio of teachers to other education staff. As you can see, we continue to rank very close to the bottom with our latest 2015 ranking of 48th place.
In Kentucky in 2015 our teacher to total staff ratio was only 42.9 percent. In other words, a majority of the people involved with Kentucky’s public education system were not classroom teachers. That really stands out when you look at Nevada, where 85.9 percent of all staff in the school system were teachers and in second-place South Carolina, where 64.3 percent of the staff were classroom teachers.
A number of other southern states plus Kentucky’s neighboring states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia and Texas all had teacher to total staff ratios above 50 percent in 2015 according to the Digest of Education Statistics 2017 Table 213.40.
When other, non-teacher staffers flood the system, it becomes inevitable that teacher salaries will have to be lower. This has been a chronic problem in Kentucky, and it doesn’t look like the situation has changed much since KERA came along in 1990.