A very interesting story comes out of the Census data compiled by the Education Intelligence Agency on trends for K-12 teachers. The district-by-district comparisons further demonstrate the loss in student enrollment in our larger urban districts since 2001-2:
– Boston shed 9.3% of its students (down to 56,388)
– Worcester 8.6%
– Lynn 10.7%
– New Bedford 11.4%
– Fall River 13.6%
– Haverhill 11.6%
– Cambridge 20.5%
– Somerville 14.1%
The primary cause of the decline is demographics – the population of Massachusetts is aging and the children of Baby-Boomers are rapidly moving through school.
The Census data suggests that Boston also shed a whopping 22% of its K-12 teachers, Worcester 24.5%, Quincy 19%, New Bedford 18%, Chelsea 22%, Salem 35%…
These are ugly numbers and hard to understand given that, for example, Boston’s per-pupil spending went up almost 50% during this period, Worcester’s 31%, or New Bedford by 33%.
This requires some digging to understand the causes – early retirement packages, retirement trends, etc. – and the impacts. Does this mean that class sizes have gone up that much? That compensation has gone up that much?