Not all school spending is for the kids. A lot of it is for the teachers, at the expense of the kids. Over the last five years, even as school districts and teachers unions complain that per-student spending has been “slashed,” “cut to the bone,” or “eviscerated,” per-student spending on the PERA School Division has been growing well beyond inflation. Here are the per-student contributions by the major local school districts (minus Denver, which has its own PERA division), and statewide:
Over the least 5 years, this has translated to growth rates well in excess of inflation:
And who’s been picking up the tab? The Employer contribution has been growing far in excess of the Employee contribution in absolute terms. The employer contribution has been growing at 10% per year from 2006-2011, while the Employee contribution has grown at a 3% rate over the same period. The overall per-student increase has been just under 8.5%.
Not only is PERA taking money from the classroom, it’s taking taxpayer dollars from the classroom at a wildly disproportionate rate. Is this what the teachers unions mean by “shared sacrifice?”