What does the Department of Ed do with $24 billion? It ain’t going to the teachers.

The NYC Department of Education has about 75,000 teachers, who are paid an average of $72,708 per year. For a total of

$5,453,100,000 total teacher expense per year

How much is that per student? Divide by about 1,100,000 students:

The cost of teachers is $4,966.45 per student

The DOE budget is $24 billion per year. Divide by 1,100,000 students and we find that we have:

$21,818.18 budgeted per student

Subtract $4,966.45 from $21,818.18 to get:

$16,852.35 overhead per student


$21,818.18 total expenditure per student
$16,852.35 overhead per student (77.2%)
$ 4,966.45 cost of teachers per student (22.8%)

Makes you wonder.

2 thoughts on “What does the Department of Ed do with $24 billion? It ain’t going to the teachers.

  1. Well, some of the money is going to consultants (See, e.g., http://gothamist.com/2011/05/25/doe_spends_nearly_1b_on_consultants.php ). But a billion dollars, that’s just small change, right?

    Interestingly, the numbers at http://www.decidenyc.com/issues/the-new-york-city-budget/nyc-doe-budget/ are a bit different – they say 7.58 billion for teachers, which would make them a whopping 31.5% of the costs per student, moving it from less than a quarter of the spending to less than a third.

    • I think the main weakness of my numbers is that

      1. I left out some expenses that are pretty close to direct instructional costs:
      — teacher benefits such as health insurance
      — payments into the teacher pension plans
      — retiree health insurance
      — books

      2. I lumped in with “overhead” expenses that perhaps should be called indirect instructional costs:
      — building maintenance
      — fuel
      — pupil transportation
      — principals
      — standardized tests

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