School Staffing

Chart: School Staffing. Teachers/Counselors: 2,970. Professional development: 2,130. Psychologists/Mental health staff: 1,749. Employee benefits/assistance: 1,310. Nurses/Physical health staff: 1,163. Support staff: 1,112. Recruitment and retention: 1,007. Custodial staff: 695. Technology staff: 569. Staff bonuses/hazard pay: 526. (This chart is based on a June 7 compilation by the data-services firm Burbio of Covid-relief spending plans released by 5,004 school districts and charter schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The sample represents roughly 74% of the nation's public-school students and receives $83 billion of the $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funds. The categories include spending to recruit, hire, train and reward staff members.)

Given the academic and social challenges that students face, many local education agencies are using Covid relief money to hire more staff members and beef up training, benefits and pay for those already on the payroll. U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has encouraged districts to use Covid relief funds to address staff shortages, specifically suggesting that they increase compensation, build a cadre of substitute teachers, improve working conditions, and invest in growing the workforce.

The Burbio data shows that about 60 percent of the districts and charter schools plan to spend on teachers, counselors and interventionist, and more than a third are using it for mental health professionals. The data doesn’t make clear whether the money would go toward hiring new staffers or improve conditions for existing employees. In separate categories, two fifths of districts plan to spend on professional development and one fifth on retention and recruitment of staff.

View our regional analysis of spending plans

View our financial breakdown of spending
Graphic. Links to With an Influx of Covid Relief Funds, States Spend on Schools.

See state plans for investments in staff

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Graphic by Merry Alderman Design