Projecting the Need for California School Administrators Over 2010/11–2017/18: The Effects of Projected Retirement and Projected Changes in Student Enrollment Over Two-Year Increments

Primary Researchers: Anthony Fong, Reino Makkonen

Publication Date: March 2011


This technical brief explores the differences among California's counties and regions in their needs for new school-site administrators (principals and vice-principals), as driven by a combination of projected administrator retirements and projected student enrollment changes. The study uses data from the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Department of Education Personnel Assignment Information Form (PAIF) to project the retirements of school-site administrators over 2010/11–2017/18. To estimate the demand for school-site administrators due to projected changes in student enrollment, the authors used data from the California Department of Finance, which projected student enrollments at the county level through the 2017/18 school year. Projected demand for administrators due to both retirements and changes in student enrollment were done at the county level in four two-year increments from 2010/11–1017/18.

Research Questions

This technical brief addresses the following three research questions:

  • By region, what percentage of 2007/08 school-site administrators are projected to retire in each two-year period over 2010/11–2017/18?
  • By region, how many new school-site administrators (as a percentage of the 2007/08 school-site administrator workforce) will be needed to offset projected changes in student enrollment for each two-year period over 2010/11–2017/18?
  • By region, how many new school-site administrators (as a percentage of the 2007/08 school-site administrator workforce) will be needed due to the combination of projected retirement and projected changes in student enrollment for each two-year period over 2010/11–2017/18?

Methodology

Projected county-level administrator retirements were derived using 5-year historical county- and age-specific retirement rates. To project future retirements, the actual number of school-site administrators in 2007/08 was taken from the PAIF dataset, and then the numbers of entering and retiring administrators were projected for each year over 2008/09–2017/18. Because this technical brief was published in 2011, only the projected retirements for the 2010/11–2017/18 period are reported.

Projected county-level demand for administrators for the 2010/11–2017/18 period was calculated by dividing the projected change in student enrollment during the period by the 5-year (2003/04–2007/08) county-specific student-administrator ratio. Projected demand due to both administrator retirements and changes in student enrollment was then calculated by summing the two projections.

Key Findings

  • The Central Coast region has the highest projected administrator retirement rates over the four two-year periods in the study; for each two-year period, either Inland Empire or South San Joaquin Central Valley are projected to have the lowest.
  • Due to projected student enrollment growth, and assuming no change in ratios of students to administrators, many regions are expected to face a need for administrators that increases in each two-year period. Inland Empire is expected to have the most enrollment-driven growth compared with its 2007/08 school-site administrator workforce; South Coast is expected to need fewer administrators based on enrollment patterns.
  • The Bay Area is the only region in which combined retirement- and student enrollment-driven demand for school-site administrators is projected to fall. In all other regions, the need is expected to grow — particularly in Inland Empire, which can expect to need 42.2 percent more administrators over 2010/11–2017/18 than were employed in 2007/08. South Coast is expected to have, overall, the state's lowest projected need (17.4 percent).
  • Published: March 2011
  • Research Type: Technical Brief
  • Methodologies: Descriptive
  • Contact info:
    Tony Fong 415.615.3289


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