In Arizona, education bureaucracy growth has greatly exceeded student growth. Between 2004 and 2008 growth in six key education components in Arizona outpaced the growth of the number of students plus inflation. At what point do we question the amount of bureaucracy in the education system?
Over the last five years, student population has increased 11 percent, but administrators and managers combined have increased nearly 46 percent.
According to the Department of Education, total state aid to education increased 40 percent from $3.2 billion in 2004 to $4.5 billion in 2008. Student population plus inflation increased 25 percent during that same time.
Right now, we have a perfect opportunity to reassess, reprioritize, and reduce non-essential government expenditures. Arizona faces a $3.4 billion deficit in 2010 and still has a $500 million deficit in fiscal year 2009, which ends June 30. If we can't reign in spending when the state is broke, it'll never happen.
Steve Voeller is president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance policies that promote a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.
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