Teachers unions and the media have declared a five-alarm fire to incite panic around an alleged teacher shortage. Their goal: higher salaries and more money for the dismally performing public schools.
But the facts tell a different story. Education Week reported last month: “More than two years into the pandemic, 1.3 million students are still missing from public school rolls…” Enrollment in New York City’s public schools was down 9% last year.
Consider Pennsylvania. Commonwealth Foundation’s Nate Benefield reports that the total number of teachers, administrators, and support staff continues to grow as student enrollment steadily drops. The Harmony Area district now has a student-to-teacher ratio of 4.6 to 1! As Benefield aptly asks: “If student enrollment Is down, why are school districts on a hiring spree?”
Forget the search for more teachers, where are these one million kids? Tragically, some families have just given up on the schools that gave up on them during the pandemic. But most will be found in private, catholic, and home schools. That’s where the education dollars should be going.