The Anchorage School District has heard some area residents say that, out of 3,500 certificated teachers employed by ASD, fewer than 2,000 of them are classroom teachers. In reality, 3,055 of the district’s 3,579 certificated positions are classroom teachers. An additional 459 are non-classroom teaching positions that provide direct instruction to students, and 64 more fall into the category of districtwide school support.
The district employs many different kinds of teachers, many of whom work directly in the classroom. Not all of these teachers are included in the budget line item for “classroom teachers.” That line item is more of a catch-all phrase that represents elementary grade-level teachers and middle and high school teachers of subjects such as language arts, science and math. For fiscal year 2011-12, ASD has 2,703.21 full-time equivalent positions budgeted as “classroom teachers,” both general and grant-funded. It is important to note that one FTE may be split into two or more part-time positions, so the number of individuals employed by ASD is greater than the FTE count.
There are many other kinds of classroom teachers than those included in the generic budget term “classroom teachers.” These include art, music, P.E., health, gifted program and English Language Learners program teachers. Each of these 352.10 general and grant-funded FTEs provide direct instruction to students in other classrooms.
There are even more categories of employees who work directly with students and who are required to hold a teaching certificate, but who are not considered classroom teachers. These include librarians, counselors, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, therapists and nurses. ASD employs 458.83 FTEs who fall into these categories.
Finally, ASD employs several certificated employees who fall under the category of “districtwide school support.” These teacher experts and support teachers serve as invaluable resources to the teachers who are providing direct instruction to students. They perform services such as supporting the implementation of district curriculum and programs; vetting and placing all student teachers who come to our schools; supporting refugee students; working with ELL students; providing new teacher mentoring and training; and supporting Special Education staff and families. More than half of the 64.44 FTEs in this position are grant-funded.
The following tables provide a clearer breakdown of the classroom teachers in ASD.
More ASD Fact Checks are available at http://asdk12.org/depts/communications/FactCheck/