Oklahoma teachers, staff growth outpaces student enrollment

The student population in Oklahoma has increased about 13 percent in the past 20 years, but the growth rate for teachers and school support staff is growing even more quickly.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: March 4, 2012
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The number of teachers and support staff is growing at a slightly faster pace than enrollment in the schools where they work, according to data from the state Education Department.

The reason: the increasing number of requirements on students and school districts, said Bob Neel, executive director of accreditation and standards for the Education Department.

“By steadily increasing the expectations on a number of credits a kid gets and how much is offered by the schools, it's had to happen that way,” Neel said.

The number of students enrolled in Oklahoma's public schools has gone up about 13 percent in the past 20 years.

That translates to about 88,000 more students in school during this academic year compared to the 1991-92 school year.

But during the same time period, the number of teachers and support staff has grown even more quickly.

The number of teachers has gone from about 43,000 to 50,000 — an increase of 16 percent.

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