Source: Education Week

School districts are spending bigger chunks of their budgets on staff benefits, leaving less money to spend in the classroom, a new study finds. Nationally, from 2005 to 2014, instructional spending increased by 2.6 percent, while spending on benefits for instructional staff members grew by 24 percent. Since education budgets have been largely flat, this means that spending on benefits is eating up more of districts’ money, and fewer dollars are making it into the classroom. Benefits are largely composed of health care and pension costs. Over the last decade, spending on teacher health-care benefits is up 30 percent, and spending on teacher retirement costs is up more than 50 percent, according to the report.

Related, this article summarizes the report’s recommended steps to addressing the problem: “Skyrocketing Spending on Benefits Hurts Teachers and the Schools That Employ Them. 4 Steps Toward Fixing That.”

Finally, for a specific example of the impact of the increasing cost of healthcare, see “LAUSD Is Now Diverting $2,300 Per Student to Cover Health Insurance Costs — 36 Percent More Than 5 Years Ago. Why the School Board Is Rushing to Avert a ‘Fiscal Cliff’”