The average U. S. Department of Education bureaucrat makes twice as much as the higher paid starting teachers.
According to Glassdoor.com statistics the average Education Department employee makes around $85,000 per year. Program specialists can make over six figures while a contracting officer can earn over $163,000.
Meanwhile teacher salaries lag in many states. National Education Association statistics show that as of October 2012, West Virginia starting teachers make just over $32,000 per year. The District of Columbia offers over $51,000 per year, but this pay rate is much higher than many states that rank near them on the list.
Individually, Department of Education hires may be well educated and qualified. As an institution, however, the Department has failed. A Cato Institute study shows that student achievement has remained flat or slightly dipped since the Department of Education was founded.
In 2008, Heritage Foundation released a study that found substantial increases in education spending had not been reflected in student achievement.
With all of the spending increases, how is it that classrooms remain underfunded, sports teams get cut, and teacher salaries lag behind inflation?
The problem is federal mandates. Statutes such as No Child Left Behind have brought burdens to public schools, but have not noticeably boosted achievement. Increasing federal meddling in schools means that a lot of bureaucrats get cushy salaries while teachers must work harder to meet ever increasing federal demands.
And the federal government has done nothing to make schools better. Many argue that public schooling is a dysfunctional and dying system.
The answer lies in eliminating the Department of Education and returning primary control of schools to locally elected boards. Obviously some boards do well and others fail. But at least they can be held accountable by voters. Bureaucrats continually fail, but keep their jobs and make hefty paychecks.