PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let's talk about what we need to compete. ...Teachers may say that, but the studies show that Romney is right. Obama's own Dept. of Education says:
But — but let's take an example that we know is going to make a difference 21st century, and that's our education policy. ... And what I now want to do is to hire more teachers, ...
Now, Governor Romney, when you were asked by teachers whether or not this would help the economy grow, you said, this isn't going to help the economy grow. When you were asked about reduced class sizes, you said class sizes don't make a difference. But I tell you, if you talk to teachers, they will tell you it does make a difference.
There were a projected 3.7 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) elementary and secondary school teachers in fall 2011. ...So we have hired more teachers, paid them more, and reduced class sizes. And student performance has gotten worse.
For public schools, the number of pupils per FTE teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio—declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 17.9 in 1985. After 1985, the public school pupil/teacher ratio continued to decline, reaching 17.2 in 1989. After a period of relative stability during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, the ratio declined from 17.3 in 1995 to 16.0 in 2000. Decreases have continued since then, and the public school pupil/teacher ratio was 15.4 in 2009. ...
The number of public school FTE teachers has increased by a larger percentage than the number of public school students over the past 10 years, resulting in declines in the pupil/teacher ratio. In fall 2001, the number of public school pupils per teacher was 15.9, compared with a projected number of 15.2 public school pupils per teacher in fall 2011.
The average salary for full-time public school teachers in 2010–11 was $56,069 in current dollars (i.e. dollars that are not adjusted for inflation). In constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars, the average salary was about 3 percent higher in 2010–11 than in 1990–91.