That's the number of state-funded employees dedicated to "management and administration," Linger said. "That's what people think of when they think of a bloated bureaucracy," Linger said.
That number does yield a higher student-to-administrator ratio: 6,581 students for each administrator.
But to get there, officials withdrew several groups of employees from the equation: 33 who work in the field; 116 who are funded with federal money; 16 whose jobs help secure grant money and, finally, 90 who work directly with students, schools and counties.
Linger also argued that the state Department of Education is responsible for an unusually large number of direct services for counties and that shifting control of those services to a regional or local level would be inefficient.
"This is a philosophy," he said. "Do we want to do it at the state level or do it at the county level? But do we really want to replicate those services 55 times?"
The report doesn't include the number of employees in the Regional Education Service Agencies. It also doesn't address the audit's assertion that the department is top heavy, with a disproportionate number of high-level administrators, resulting in "overlap and duplication of effort."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.