We Do NOT Have 100 Fewer Teachers Than We Did 5 Years Ago

When Superintendent Andy Craig issued this memo on July 15, 2013, in his attempt to defend eliminating buses, the Urban Legend stating “Hoover has 110 fewer teachers than we did five years ago” was born.

The Urban Legend was repeated once again at the January 9 Hoover Board of Education (BOE) meeting by BOE member Earl Cooper.

That statement is inaccurate.

The actual statement from the July 15 memo is shown below:

ZOOM District Announcement on July 15 from Website

The key phrase is “on a per student basis”. Want that explained a little further?

Here are the numbers broken down showing exactly how many teachers and other employees have been employed within Hoover City Schools since FY04 (October 1, 2003, to September 30, 2004). A whole lot of numbers are on this chart. Click on it to make it larger.

Personnel FY04 through FY14

In FY08, at the peak of school funding, the student-teacher ratio was 12.93 to 1, meaning that Hoover employed one teacher for every 12.93 students. In FY08, Hoover employed 959 teachers, and 12,397 students were enrolled.

In FY13 (the year we were in when Craig wrote the memo), the student-teacher ratio was 14.38 to 1, meaning that Hoover employed one teacher for every 14.38 students. In FY13, Hoover employed 952.9 teachers, and 13,703 students were enrolled.

Craig reasoned that IF the student-teacher ratio was still 12.93 to 1 as it was in FY08, Hoover should have 1,060 teachers employed (13,703 students divided by 12.93). 1,060 minus 952.9 equals 107.

We never employed those teachers. You can’t have fewer of something you never had in the first place.

In real numbers, in FY13, we employed 6.1 fewer teachers than we did five years ago. 

In real numbers, in FY14, we employ 15.75 more teachers than we did in FY08.

And, while you’re digesting numbers, in real numbers, the FY14 budget claims we employ 1814.64 people, but the LEAPS report (the report school officials must file with the Alabama State Department of Education, here’s the certified and the non-certified number of employees as of November 2013) shows we employ 1859.42 people, which is 44.78 people higher than we were told in September 2013. Was the budget accurate?

Again, we never employed those 100 teachers we supposedly lost. Let’s be sure we are repeating facts when we speak of Hoover’s financial challenges. The future of our school community is too important to repeat misinformation.

Couldn’t help but be reminded of this phrase. Never knew it was attributed to football player Don Meredith.

Ifs and Buts