Computer Labs Enable New Staffing Structures & New Savings
Source: CRPE website, Dec 2012
Leaving class sizes and administrative structures as is, what if more schools simply adopted the concept of having four classrooms taught by three teachers, along with a lab rotation?
Keeping constant national norms for elementary school class sizes, Table 1 demonstrates the staffing and cost implications of adopting this staffing innovation for grades 1 though 5.15 Current core staffing costs are based on state average salaries for elementary teachers, and benefits are included as a projected 33 percent of salary costs.16 The lab rotation assumes using 25 percent fewer core teachers and one technology aide per 70 students, whose total compensation we based on the national average for paraeducators (at 38% of average teacher earnings).17
As is clear from Table 1, the rotation model relies on fewer teachers and more lab aides; for every 1,000 students, the system uses 12 fewer teachers but adds 14 more lab staff. While the number of total jobs increases, the per-pupil staffing costs drop by $525 per pupil (or about 5 percent).18 That enables some investment in necessary lab equipment and software, with additional funds available for other reforms.