False DOE Data = Really Big Oops

A few weeks ago, we told you about a Friedman Foundation for School Choice study that found Virginia to have far more non-teaching personnel than teachers in its publicly funded schools, far more in fact than any other state. The study concluded that the additional personnel are costing Virginia taxpayers billions of dollars. Unfortunately, we learned last week that the data supplied by the Virginia Department of Education used by Friedman for the report was massively flawed and resulted in incorrect conclusions. Friedman has since received corrected data and is currently analyzing the numbers. A PolitiFact analysis of The Family Foundation’s earlier email indicated that, according to new numbers submitted by DOE, Virginia has approximately 2,000 more non-teaching personnel than teachers, not the 20,000 the report found (see Richmond Times-Dispatch).

PolitiFact also reported that this isn’t the first time DOE has messed up data reports which have resulted in inaccurate conclusions. Such inaccuracies make analyzing Virginia’s public schools difficult at best.

Friedman Foundation is a trusted partner in school choice advocacy and regularly develops in-depth studies of education policy. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future to bring education reform and freedom to Virginia families.