Professional Development

Part
01
of two
Part
01

School spending for professional development

The total K-12 professional development market in the United States has been sized at $18 billion as of 2015, the latest year for which data is available. Public schools spend an average of $148,337 per year on professional development for its teachers; while private schools spend $98,946 per year. A deep dive of my findings, including my methodology and calculations, is below.

Methodology

To find the average amount of money that K-12 schools in the United States are spending on professional development for their teachers, principals, and superintendents, I first searched for official studies, which led me to the New Teacher Project report from 2015, which is the most recent comprehensive study completed on professional development spending in K-12 schools. As it is still referenced frequently by current publications, I assumed that this is the most recent data available. Thorough research did not reveal any more recent studies with the same level of information.

Unfortunately, this study only provides information on the amount of money spent on professional development for teachers. There is no information on how much money is spent on superintendent or administrator professional development. It is my assumption that superintendent and administrator professional development does not represent a significant portion of a school district's budget and has thus not been adequately studied. Therefore, the information presented here only reflects K-12 spending on professional development for teachers.

According to The New Teacher Project Study in 2015, a total of $18 billion is spent annually on professional development. In addition, this same report found that "schools are spending as much as $18,000 per teacher, per year on professional development." However, since this study only "spanned three large public school districts and one midsize charter school network," and only included surveys and interviews from "10,000 teachers, 500 school leaders, and 100 staff members involved in teacher development," I determined that while some large schools are spending upwards of $18,000 on professional development, this does not reflect the average spend of a typical K-12 school, public or private. Therefore, I decided to only use the market size from this study to extrapolate the data for all K-12 schools in the United States to provide a more accurate spend per school on professional development.

To extrapolate the data from this study, we used the following statistics derived from the National Center for Education Statistics, which provides the most up-to-date data on K-12 education in the United States:

In the United States there are:
-98,200 public schools (K-12)
-34,600 private schools offering kindergarten or higher grades
-3.2 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in public K-12 schools
-400,000 FTE teachers in K-12 private schools

In addition, a study comparing public schools to private schools found that "85 percent of public school teachers participate in some form of professional development every twelve months compared to 67 percent in private schools." This data will be used to approximate the number of teachers per school receiving professional development.

Calculations

The $18 billion market size for K-12 professional development will be used in all calculations.

Total number of K-12 schools in the United States: 132,800 (98,200 + 34,600)
Average spend for K-12 professional development per school: $135,542.00 ($18,000,000,000 / 132,800 = $135,542.17, rounded to $135,542.00)

Therefore, we can say that the K-12 schools (both public and private) spend an average of $135,542 per year on professional development for teachers.

To determine how much public schools spend versus private schools on professional development, though, we need to use the proportion of private schools to public schools to segment the total market. Of the 132,800 total K-12 schools, public schools represent 74% (98,200 / 132,800) and private schools represent 26% (34,600 / 132,800). Using these percentages, we can assume that public schools spend 74% of the total market or $13,320,000,000 ($18,000,000,000 x 0.74) and that private schools spend 26% of the total market or $4,680,000,000 ($18,000,000,000 x 0.26).

However, it is likely that private schools spend less on professional development because they generally have smaller budgets. For example, a teacher with 10 years' experience in a public schools earns an average salary of $54,860, while a private school teacher with the same experience earns an average of $40,440. If we use a proportion of $40,000 to $55,000, this means private schools spend an average of $8 per teacher for every $11 per teacher spent by public schools. Using this proportion, we can break down the average expenditure on professional development even further. Private school teachers earn 73% of what public school teachers earn (8/11 = 0.727 rounded to 0.73). As such, I assumed that private schools will spend about 73% of what public schools spend on professional development as well. Please note that this ratio is only representative. The actual ratio of professional development spend for private and public schools is unknown.

Therefore, if public schools spend $135,542 (13,320,000,000 / 98,200) per school, private schools would actually only spend $98,946 per school ($135,542 x 0.73 = $98,945.66, rounded to $98,946), a difference of $36,314 from the unqualified average of $135,260 ($4,680,000,000 / 34,600). This means an extra $1,256,464,400 ($36,314 x 34,600) is allocated to public school spend, adding an extra $12,795 per public school on average ($1,256,464,400 / 98,200 = $12,794.95, rounded to $12,795), increasing the average spend per public school on professional development to $148,337 ($135,542 + $12,795)

K-12 public schools average 33 teachers per school (3,200,000 / 98,200 = 32.58, rounded to 33)
If 85% of public school teachers participate in some form of professional development every 12 months, we can say that schools pay for an average of 28 teachers to receive professional development each year (33 x 0.85 = 28.05, rounded to 28).
Average professional development spend per public school teacher: $5,298 ($148,337 / 28 = $5,297.75, rounded to $5,298).

K-12 private schools average 12 teachers per school (400,000 / 34,600 = 11.56, rounded to 12)
If 67% of private school teachers participate in some form of professional development every 12 months, we can say that private schools pay for an average of 8 teachers to receive professional development each year (12 x 0.67 = 8.04, rounded to 8).
Average professional development spend per private school teacher: $12,368 ($98,946 / 8 = $12,368.25, rounded to $12,368).

Summary of findings

Knowing that the calculations are extensive, I have provided a summary of findings that are derived from the above calculations.

Total U.S. K-12 professional development market size: $18 billion

Average K-12 professional development spend per school (both public and private): $135,542

Average K-12 professional development spend per public school: $148,337

Average K-12 professional development spend per private school: $98,946

Average K-12 professional development spend per public school teacher: $5,298

Average K-12 professional development spend per private school teacher: $12,368

Conclusion

Of the $18 billion United States K-12 professional development market, the average public school spends $148,337 per year, while private schools spend an average of $98,946 per year.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

School spending for professional development 2

US colleges and universities vary widely in their expenditure on professional development for their professors and administrators, making an overall figure difficult to estimate. However, among the data found for individual higher education institutions (HEI), funding for professional, leadership, or faculty development ranges from as little as $200 for an institution-based faculty learning community course to $4,000 per year for extensive faculty development endeavors.

METHODOLOGY

I searched for national figures for expenditures by colleges or universities on professional development, leadership development, or faculty development. However, these statistics were not uncovered via searches of the US Department of Education, Inside Higher Ed, EAB, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among other sources. Then, I searched for data on college or university budget allocation by department or budget sector, but again found no relevant data. While I found many qualitative references to professional development, leadership development, or faculty development in higher education, quantitative data proved largely elusive. So I then turned my attention to specific college or university budgets. This strategy led me to some budget allocation data that I could present as representative data.

It appears that one of the challenges in finding this data is the variety of ways higher education institutions (HEI) approach professional or faculty development funding. Some institutions offer these funds as part of their annual budget, while others rely on awards or endowments. Therefore, I have provided a sampling of the figures I found for specific HEIs to offer an overview of the available data.

FINDINGS

A report by EAB on university budget models suggests that an institution's budget estimate for building a leadership development programs should be $1.0 million-$1.5 million.

In a 2017 article at University Business, Kathy Snyder, Frostburg State University's vice president for human resources, discusses the school's efforts to provide leadership development on a tight budget, suggests that their entire budget for leadership development has not exceeded $3,000 per year.

In the University of Houston's College of Liberal Arts and Social Science, professional development awards are given to both non-tenure faculty and staff. The maximum award for non-tenure track faculty is $1,000 per faculty member to attend or present at conferences or workshops, while the award for staff members to attend such events is $2,000 per staff member.

At Whitman College, a private liberal arts college in Washington state, faculty members (either tenured or tenure-track) are allotted $2,500 per year for professional development with stipulations for how much can be attributed to food, travel, and other related expenses. Under certain circumstances, these funds can roll over into the next fiscal year if not used. The school also has the Aid to Faculty Scholarship and Instructional Development (ASID), which are funds available to faculty whose professional development allowance is insufficient for their needs. These funds range from $1,500-$4,000, depending on faculty level related to tenure.

Springfield College, a private college in Massachusetts, has a $500 per faculty member budget for faculty development, as well as $750 research grants, which are approved through the Faculty Development Committee.

The North Seattle College Education Fund operates a professional development endowment that provides $1,000 per faculty member each academic year.

Loyola University Maryland offers the VPAA Ingenuity Challenge Funds, which allow faculty to apply for funding of up to $1,000 per faculty member for faculty development and attendance at conferences, classes, or workshops.

Illinois Wesleyan University's 2017-2018 Faculty Development Handbook states that it the school provides several grants related to professional development. Their per-faculty-member funding ranges from $200-$1,050, depending on faculty tenure and development goals.

Miami University of Ohio offers faculty learning communities (FLC) that comprise 6-12 faculty or staff members, receiving $200-$300 in professional development funding, depending on their type of participation.

While slightly dated (2014), a document presented by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, entitled "Professional Development Programs and Activities Related to Innovation in Teaching and Improvement of Student Learning Outcomes," suggests a monthly summer stipend of $2,000 per faculty member to help cover costs associated with professional development.

In his resume, John Cech, Ph.D., notes that he assisted in the advancement of funding for faculty development during his tenure with City College, Montana State University Billings. He states that the college increased its faculty development budget from "nearly zero in 2002 to over $30,000 in 2010." I tried to find more recent data for this school but was unable to do so.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, college spending on professional development for professors and administrators varies widely, depending on the individual school's budgeting and funding structure. Among the higher education institutions identified in this brief, funding for professional, leadership, or faculty development ranges from as little as $200 per course to $4,000 per year.
Sources
Sources