News Bite

A Rarity: This Teacher Shortage Report Has Some Merit

Media loves making the claim, even when wrong; numbers really are down in this district, though

The Lansing School District has been mentioned in news reports about an alleged teacher shortage in Michigan.

Lansing is one of many districts said by media outlets to have fewer teachers than in previous years, but in this case, the numbers support the claim, at least for the current school year.

Lansing schools had 607 teachers in 2017-18 and 603 teachers in 2020-21. But enrollment has also been falling in the Ingham County district, from 10,800 students in 2017-18 to 10,031 in 2020-21, a 7% drop over the last three years. So until the start of the 2021-22 school year, the slightly lower number of teachers did not support a claim of a shortage.

But this year, the school district saw the number of teachers drop to 529. The state has not yet released enrollment data for 2021-22, so it is still not known if the number of teachers per student is higher or lower this year.

Michigan Capitol Confidential has approached Michigan’s larger school districts to ask them how many teachers they employ. Media reports of teacher shortages seldom reveal how many teachers are on a given school district’s payroll each year.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.