News Bite

Staff Counts Ballooned In Teacher Of The Year’s Home District; She Claims Cuts

Number employed by Holt schools up 42% since 2013; enrollment is down 13%

The number of employees on the Holt Public Schools payroll has risen 43% over the past nine years, even as student enrollment plummeted 13.5%.

This reality contrasts starkly with the narrative Holt teacher Leah Porter delivered after being named the Michigan Department of Education’s 2021-22 Teacher of the Year. The department expects her, among other things, to be an advocate for public school teachers.

That may explain why Porter wrote, in a March 30 Detroit Free Press op-ed, that staff cuts were part of a perfect storm afflicting public schools.

This repeats an inaccurate story line promoted by teachers unions: that Michigan suffers a statewide worker shortage in K-12 education.

According to the state of Michigan, the employee headcount of Holt Public Schools rose from 787 in 2012-13 to 1,123 in 2021-22. That is an increase of 42%, even as enrollment fell 13%, from 5,828 students to 5,038.

Holt is not an outlier. Total staff counts in Michigan’s K-12 public schools increased 3.5% from 2012-13 to 2021-22, while statewide enrollment declined 8.3%.

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.