América del Norte/Canadá/Octubre de 2016/Autora: Ashley Csanady/Fuente: National Post
RESUMEN: La compensación de los maestros está haciendo subir los costos de la educación en Canadá incluso cuando cae la inscripción de estudiantes en todo el país, según un informe del Instituto Fraser. El gasto en educación aumentó en más de un 41 por ciento desde 2004 hasta 2014, desde un 44,3 $ millones a $ 62,6 billón – un aumento de casi $ 18 mil millones. Al mismo tiempo, la matrícula total se redujo en alrededor de 200.000 estudiantes. Eso significa que la financiación por alumno en general ha aumentado, los autores del informe dicen,que la mayor parte de ese aumento se va a los sueldos maestros, prestaciones y pensiones. “Estamos gastando una mayor proporción de cada dólar que gastamos en nuestras escuelas públicas sobre la remuneración de los maestros”, dijo DEANI Van Pelt, director del Centro Barbara Mitchell para el Mejoramiento de la Educación en el Instituto Fraser.
Teacher compensation is driving up education costs in Canada even as student enrolment falls across the country, a new Fraser Institute report finds.
Education spending increased by more than 41 per cent from 2004 to 2014, or from $44.3 billion to $62.6 billion — a spike of almost $18 billion. At the same time, overall enrolment declined by about 200,000 students.
That means overall per-student funding has risen, the report’s authors say, and the bulk of that increase is going to teachers’ salaries, benefits and pensions.
“We’re now spending a larger share of every dollar we spend on our public schools on teacher compensation,” said Deani Van Pelt, director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for the Improvement of Education at the Fraser Institute.
She said that in 2004, 72 cents of every dollar spent on education went to compensation. It’s now 74 cents: “We have experienced a dramatic increase in what we spend on education in Canada and over 78 per cent of that increase has gone to teacher compensation.”
“Alberta stands out,” Van Pelt said, as that province has increased spending on compensation by 80 per cent. And Ontario has more than doubled how much it spends on teacher pensions in that decade, with spending in that area increasing by 106 per cent even as the province struggled to rein in public-sector compensation costs.
However, critics of the Fraser Institute and proponents of public education say the findings are a bit misleading — would parents say those dollars are misspent if it means fewer children in each classroom?
“The Fraser Institute’s observation that ‘governments are spending more dollars and a greater share of total education spending on teacher compensation, with increasing shares going towards fringe benefits and pensions’ is designed to prompt us to ask whether teachers are deserving of the compensation they receive,” said Charles Ungerleider, a professor of sociology of education at the University of British Columbia. “Canada enjoys one of the best-performing public education systems in the world, in part because it has a well-educated and prepared cadre of teachers.”
Of the $18-billion increase between 2004 and 2014, about 78 per cent of the hike went to teacher compensation. Of that increase, the bulk of the cost spike went to teachers’ pensions. National spending on their retirement nearly doubled over the decade, from $2.3 billion to $4.3 billion.
While the Fraser report, titled Understanding the Increases in Education Spending in Public Schools in Canada, didn’t dig into why pension costs were so high, expert Bill Tuft said it’s an effect of a cycle.
“Mainly it’s because of the rapidly increasing salary costs,” he said. “The contributions are based on a portion of the salary and as the salary costs go up, the pension costs go up.”