Edgewood ISD announced this week they are cutting as many as 12 central office positions, though the district says they have 92 more than needed. Other Texas districts should follow – consider that Dallas and Houston ISDs have about 3,000 central office staff while the Catholic school systems in New York and Chicago, each with 100,000 plus students, have between 22 and 28.
Meanwhile, Edgewood ISD, a San Antonio area district with about 12,000 students, plans to eliminate all 92 admittedly unnecessary positions by losing 80 to attrition over the next year, in addition to the 12 being cut. It is interesting to note that Edgewood ISD was the lead plaintiff in the first round of school finance litigation. So during all that time they said they didn’t have enough money to provide a constitutionally adequate education, we now come to find out the problem was too much of that money was being exhausted at a top-heavy central office rather than making its way to the classroom.
Also noteworthy is that this reduction in central office staff may well indicate that competition works. Edgewood ISD’s enrollment has declined 10 percent over the last five years partly due to privately funded school vouchers provided by the CEO Horizon Scholars program that targeted families in Edgewood’s service area. Not only do vouchers help the recipients receive a better education, but they force districts to become more efficient.