Letter to the Editor of The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Three cheers for Bob Holland’s September 30 op-ed (“Teachers Speak Out For the Real Deal In School Reform”) and its insight into how teachers have here-to-fore been largely shut out of the debate for meaningful education reforms by both the teachers’ unions and other education elites.
One reason this has been made possible is that teachers today account for only 52 percent of the personnel in public schools, down from 70 percent in 1949-50. Today, school administrators, guidance counselors, psychologists, support staff and others make up nearly half the personnel in the school system.
That may be good news for the teacher unions who have more potential members and administrators who have more people to manage. It’s bad news however for teachers who have to comply with more burdensome administrative tasks while seeing dollars diverted from the classroom.
Against this backdrop it should not be surprising that more teachers are taking charge and establishing charter schools. These public schools, which are free of burdensome administrative education regulations (and often opposed by the unions), allow teachers to focus on serving students. The proliferation of charter schools throughout Virginia would be an important development that would surely be welcomed by teachers.
Paul F. Steidler
Paul F. Steidler is a Senior Fellow Lexington Institute.
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