Newspaper Says Farmington Has Teacher Shortage, But Numbers Are Up As Enrollment Falls
In June 2020, a news site that covers west suburban Detroit declared there was a teacher shortage at the Farmington Public Schools disctrict.
“There’s not getting around it: Michigan is in the middle [of] a teacher shortage,” the publication declared. It then quoted retired public schools superintendent George Heitsch in support of the claim.
Except, at the time HometownLife.com published that story, Farmington Public Schools had more teachers than in the previous three years. The district reported 715 teachers on its payroll as of June 2020. That was 23 more teachers than in June 2017, when it employed 692 teachers.
And while the number of Farmington teachers went up, enrollment had declined over those three years. The district had 9,719 students as of June 2017; in 2020 the number had fallen to 9,433 students.
As of June 2021, Farmington had 24 fewer teachers on its staff than in the previous year. Enrollment also dropped, reaching 9,401 students in 2021.
In recent years, a parade of news stories has alleged a statewide teacher shortage. Almost none of the reports provide hard numbers to back up the claim. Michigan Capitol Confidential has filed many open records requests with larger school districts this school year as a way to discover how many they employ.
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.