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Monday, November 2, 2015

ISD 833 spends over $400,000/year per class

11-3: To clarify the word "classroom" is figurative in the sense we use the 833's own admission the "classroom" is 30 students in a "classroom" for one day at School. Yes kids go to different classes through the day but that's accounted for by the district in their calculation. Lastly, some feel that 28.68 is the average class size (insignificant difference). 

The ISD 833 establishment appears upset with reports of their actual per pupil spending before the November 3rd vote in South Washington County.

"Per pupil spending" is a common term when referencing how much school districts spend. However what that term means is not universally agreed upon. School districts in Minnesota and across the country use their own standardized per pupil calculation that only includes spending on select student expenses instead of the logical alternative of counting all expenses. Usually the neglected costs include the cost of school buildings, maintenance, utilities etc.

This discrepancy between the school district's selective "per pupil" calculation and the actual per pupil calculation (that factors in all the costs) gained statewide attention earlier this year with a controversial billboard put up by across the street from the MN department of education. The billboard read that Minneapolis schools spend $525,000 per classroom of 25 students per year.  Using the actual per pupil rate of $21,000 calculated by dividing the Minneapolis School's total expenditures by the amount of students. The Minneapolis school district's preferred per pupil calculation was a much lower $14,000 per student using the cherry picked expenses. Linked Star Tribune story: Billboard shames Minneapolis school district spending

This difference in the district's cherry picked per pupil spending vs the actual per pupil spending is why the establishment is so upset when anyone references the total expenditures as an indicator of per pupil spending.... In their world counting all expenses is unfair; In the real world, it'd be ridiculous to consider anything less. For example, would you use the school district's same faulty logic that buildings and related expenses don't count so you could house yourself in a mansion by simply ignoring the expense in your budget? Of course not.... but MN school districts do whenever they spout their deflated per pupil rates.

How does 833 match up in all this?
On the District 833 website under "Frequently asked questions" they explain they currently spend $10,500 per pupil... under the accurate per pupil formula it's *$13,631. So you can see why school districts like South Washington County prefer the smaller number.

*2015 budget of $241 million (source 1), 2015 enrollment 17680 (source 2), Divide and you get actual per pupil cost of $13,631 a year. No fuzzy math.

Another point to consider:
South Washington Schools spend $408,936 per classroom of 30 students... PER YEAR! 

District 833 has a budget of $241 million (source 1), enrollment was 17680 (source 2), Divide that you get actual per pupil cost of $13,631 a year. Multiply that by the current average student to teacher ratio (e-12) of 30:1 (p.3 second source).