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Michigan Has More Teachers Per Student Than 13 Years Ago

More favorable ratio challenges often-repeated claims of a teacher shortage

As media voices and public school officials have clamored about a shortage of teachers in Michigan, state data suggests the statewide student-to-teacher ratio is more favorable now than it was in the 2007-08 school year.

In that school year, there were 1,645,742 public school students in Michigan. In the 2020-21 year, the statewide enrollment number is 1,437,612, or 12.6% lower.

Yet the number of Michigan public school teachers has fallen very little, from 111,419 in 2007-08 to 110,788 in the current school year, or a difference of just 631 teachers. That’s a decline of roughly half a percent.

Thirteen years ago, there were 14.7 Michigan public school students for each teacher. In 2020-21, there were 13.0 students per teacher, or 11.5% fewer. The Michigan Department of Education’s published data on teacher employment goes back to 2007-08.

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.