Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CCSD FY 2010 Per Pupil Expenditures

Per pupil expenditure figures are now available from the Georgia Department of Education for FY 2010.*  According to those figures, the State of Georgia average for per pupil expenditures this past fiscal year was $8759.77, a decrease of 1.66% from the FY 2009 figure of $8907.82. Conversely, the corresponding FY 2010 figure for the Clarke County School District was $11,360.09, slightly more than a 0.99% increase over the FY 2009 figure of $11,248.22. Thus, our local average per pupil expenditures rose from 26.27% above the state average in FY 2009 to 29.68% above the state average in FY 2010.  And note that the per pupil expenditure figure indicated on the CCSD web site is now two full fiscal years out of date.

A look inside the FY 2010 figures reveals the following per pupil expenditures for the Clarke County School District in the seven categories tracked by the Georgia Department of Education:

Instruction $7522.51 (plus 27.27% of the state average of $5910.84)

Pupil Services $368.19 (plus 22.25% of the state average of $301.18)

Staff Services $771.83 (plus 65.77% of the state average of $465.60)

General Administration $461.18 (plus 1.72% of the state average of $453.38)

School Administration $624.40 (plus 13.18% of the state average of $551.70)

Transportation $657.63 (plus 66.71% of the state average of $394.48)

Maintenance & Operations $954.36 (plus 39.81% of the state average of $682.61)

The category of General Administration is pretty much a wash, but in every other category the CCSD outspends the state average by considerable, and in couple of cases astonishing, margins.

According to my reckoning, this high level of per pupil expenditures places the District in the 94th percentile (93.89) among school systems statewide, eleventh highest of the 180 school systems reporting, a ranking that has not varied appreciably over the last several years. Of the ten school districts that had higher per pupil spending in FY 2010, nine are much smaller districts that have to spread fixed capital and administrative costs over far fewer students, thereby driving their per pupil expenditures up due to a lack of economies of scale. As in the past, the only school district with more students that outspends Clarke County on a per pupil basis is that of the City of Atlanta.

By way of comparison, FY 2010 per pupil expenditures of the school districts that surround Clarke County were:

Barrow County $7804.32

Commerce City $8687.39

Jackson County $8878.20

Jefferson City $7169.85

Madison County $8803.75

Oconee County $8547.30 

Oglethorpe County $8555.99

So, even as our neighboring school systems, and those around the state, are managing to hold the line on spending, here in Clarke County our spending increases continue apace.  Not by much, perhaps, by any increase over the already stratospheric level of expenditures to which we are accustomed gives lie to the incessant claims of paucity made by the CCSD.

Let the dissembling begin.

*As an aside, I contacted the Financial Review folks over at the DOE in early October to ask politely when the figures for FY 2010 would be posted on their web site (a query to which I never received any response); I again contacted them in early November with the same question (another query to which I never received any response).  And so it goes.  All percentage and percentile calculations are my own.

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Allen said...

Thanks for the update!

I wonder how these expenses might compare to those of private schools?

Anonymous said...

I took a look at the report to see how the metro Atlanta school districts matched up. The county school districts were all around the state average except for one. The Atlanta city schools blow the average by having an expenditure of $14,498.49 per student. So the lowest performing school district, facing an accreditation review, and beset with all sorts of testing scandals spends far more then anybody else in the state.

Can we finally put to rest the argument that the answer to achieving excellence in education is directly related to the amount of money we throw at it?

Jay said...

The BOE in those schools is, perhaps, incompetent. This includes the part about not being fiscally prudent.

Of course, since we've moved to elected BOE's, we've displaced the normal prudence of BOE's with any and all manner of political jihads.

Effective schools in GA are the exception, not the rule and anyone who criticizes them is called a racist or worse. Ironically, those in charge are hurting the schools and students while those who demand change are challenging their pathology. But don't tell anyone in the media!