Instinctively, most of us understand the quality of the teacher in front of the students is the key thing in education achievement.
Reams of academic research show teachers are the difference makers, too. (Center for Public Education)
Then why not focus on teachers? Taxpayers spend about $375 million a year on teacher aides. That’s enough money to hire 7500 teachers earning $50,000 each. While everyone understands lesser trained teacher assistants are helpful, a comprehensive Tennessee analysis found more teachers and smaller classes yield better achievement than teacher aides. (John Locke Foundation)
The Medicaid Monster is still eating the budget. Resources aren’t unlimited. Conservative reformers want to reallocate assistant funding toward hiring more teachers to lower class size in the critical early grades by 15%. That’s a proven reform that works.