News Bite

This District Has A Student Shortage, Not Teacher Shortage

Enrollment at Oak Park schools down 25% in four years but number of teachers stays nearly the same

WXYZ-TV published a story based on claims there is a statewide shortage of public school teachers. The May 20 article quoted Carol Baaki-Diglio, assistant superintendent of human resources at Oak Park Schools.

She said:

“The perfect storm being far fewer people are choosing education, so we have fewer coming in, and then we have a mass exodus going out.”

But “teacher shortage” does not describe Baaki-Diglio’s school district.

Oak Park Schools has 274 teachers on its payroll in 2020-21, or one more than in 2016-17.

But over that same four-year period, the number of students enrolled in the district plummeted 25%. There were 5,160 students attending Oak Park schools in 2016-17; in the current year, that has fallen to 3,871 students.

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.