Friday, June 4, 2010

Frequently asked questions: "Has Franklin really laid off any teachers?"

Have you really laid off any teachers?

The tables below reflect, over a 10 year period, the increase in Franklin’s student population and the associated decrease in its teaching population. At its peak in 2005, Franklin had 517 teachers. Since that time, Franklin has eliminated more than 100 teachers. These staffing cuts have taken place at the same time Franklin has experienced increasing student enrollments, resulting in larger class sizes. That is a worrisome trend and is not a good long term indicator for positive educational results.


You can obtain additional historical teaching figures in Franklin at the following blog post:

One of a series to address frequently asked questions


The special election on June 8th gives Franklin voters the choice:

Increase taxes to continue to provide the services we have this year (and that does not restore any of the services already cut)


Continue to cut municipal services for all and cut educational opportunities for our children

I'll help to provide the information. You need to do two things:
  1. Make your choice
  2. Vote on June 8th

You get bonus points if you talk with your neighbors about this and get them to vote!

Additional information on the override can be found here:

Franklin, MA


  1. Am I right in assuming the teacher positions that were funded by stimulus grants will not be funded for the new school year? So if we pass the override we still lose 16 positions or will the 16 positions be funded if the override passes?

    A stacked bar chart may have been a better way to show the "stimulus" positions, simply put 0 for the other years, and 16 for the final year...


  2. Geoff, as I understand it the 16 positions covered by the stimulus funds were for a two year period so this current school year and next. The override affects another 15 teachers (7 elementary and 8 middle school). The details on what's in and out depending upon the override can be found here:

    And yes, the chart could have been done differently. The Schools did this one, I simply leveraged it to post here.

  3. There is an error in the teacher graph. The last 3 years only shows the number of teachers. All the years prior include teachers and teaching support personnel. So the last 3 years under counts the number of personnel. Missing is the support staff. So there is an apples to oranges comparison after 2006. The correct teacher only data shows 2003 - 408, 2004 - 459, 2005 - 449, 2006 - 466. (These numbers come from DOE and the School Blog you reference also confirms these numbers.) So the actual number lost since 2005 is 33 teachers, and 50 from the peak in 2006.

    Factoring the number of students and you get a ratio of 14.7 students to 1 teacher in 2009-2010 and 13.7 to 1 in 2005-2006, up one student per teacher. This ratio is a better unit of measurement as it takes into account changes in both students and teachers.

    It may be worth asking the Schools to confirm these numbers. But right now, I believe that saying that 100 teachers have been lost in the last 5 years is incorrect information.

  4. I actually showed more lost in the period 2003-2009 and you can see those numbers here:

    I'll ask the Schools to help reconcile the numbers.