Class size, teacher salary level, and cost per student

The average salary for an entry-level teacher in Vermont is $31,047, while a mid-career teacher averages $45,615 and a senior teacher averages $58,070 (according to the Vermont NEA).  At the same time, the student-teacher ratio ranges from a low of about 8 students per teacher to as high as 20.  These two factors combine to create the potential for dramatic changes in cost per student.

The following graph shows how teacher salaries and benefits contribute to cost per student over the range of class sizes and salary levels outlined above.  At the extremes, the range is quite dramatic.  For the largest class being taught by an entry-level teacher, the cost contribution is just over $2,000 per student.  At the other end of the spectrum, the smallest class being taught by a senior-level teacher, the cost contribution is just over $9,400.  For the more typical range of class size (10 to 14 students per teacher), the cost contribution ranges from about $4,000 (for an entry-level teacher) to about $5,400 (for a senior-level teacher).

This analysis suggests a few important concepts to keep in mind when looking at cost per student:
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Vermont teacher salary and class size cost contribution variation

Copyright (C) 2006 by Ken Dufort