Monday, January 4, 2010

CCSD FY 2009 Per Pupil Expenditures

The Financial Review folks over at the Georgia Department of Education proved as good as their word, sending me notice on New Year’s Eve that the FY 2009 per pupil expenditures for the Clarke County School District had been posted, coming in at $11,248.22.

Readers may remember that the CCSD’s per pupil expenditure figure for FY 2008 was $11,180.05. Thus, the figure for FY 2009 increased by 0.61%. The corresponding figures for the state as a whole were $8965.24 for FY 2008 and $8912.19 for FY 2009, reflecting a decrease of 0.59%. So, the short version is that the CCSD’s per pupil expenditures increased from 24.70% above the state average for FY 2008 to 26.21% above the state average for FY 2009.

Regarding the details, the CCSD continued to outspend the state average in six of the seven categories tracked by the DOE, in some cases by wide margins indeed:

• Instruction $7460.97 (+ 23.98% of the state average of $6017.89)
• Pupil Services $288.28 (- 3.17% of the state average of $297.73)
• Staff Services $669.22 (+ 45.48% of the state average of $460.11)
• General Administration $494.86 (+ 14.39% of the state average of $432.62)
• School Administration $634.96 (+ 14.25% of the state average of $555.76)
• Transportation $747.01 (+ 73.66% of the state average of $430.16)
• Maintenance & Operations $952.93 (+ 32.73% of the state average of $717.92)
• Total $11,248.22 (+ 26.21% of the state average of $8912.19)

If my various calculations are correct, this level of per pupil spending places the CCSD in the 94th percentile of school systems statewide, 11th highest out of 182 reporting – about the same position it has occupied for years.

By way of comparison, review the per pupil expenditures of other area school systems here. Jackson County’s per pupil expenditures are the closet to those of Clarke County, but even so come in at a thousand dollars per pupil lower; all of the other neighboring school systems have figures lower than $9000 per pupil and a couple even have figures lower than $8000 per pupil. But guess which school system has the highest dropout rates, lowest graduation test scores, lowest achievement test scores, lowest AYP scores, etcetera?

These figures are based on the 182 of 185 schools/school systems in the state that have reported their expenditures to the DOE as of the end of December 2009. All of the mathematical calculations shown are my own.

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Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis and data!

swheele2 said...

Clearly you are trying to imply that CCSD is using money ineffectively, since the expenditures are the highest in the area yet the dropout rates remain high.

How do we know that the dropout rates wouldn't be even higher if expenditures were on par with surrounding counties? You can't discount the fact that poverty rates in ACC are much higher than in surrounding counties, which surely has an impact on dropout rates.

Anonymous said...

swheele2, keep in mind that some of the categories are not related to education per se, and therefore it cannot be said, for instance, that "if we didn't spend 74 percent more than the state average for our transportation costs, " then the drop-out rate might be even higher! Well, you could say that, but to me its nonsensical.