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Friday, March 3, 2017

Stillwater ISD834 Spends Nearly $250,000 per class, Only 1/3 Goes to Teachers.

By: DeeDee Armstrong

Stillwater School District ISD 834 enrolls roughly 8,300 students. 
In the 2015-2016 school year the revenue was $106 million dollars (p.21 of the budget pdf), 
In the 2015-2016 school year the average student to teacher ratio was 18.99(p.146 of the CAFR pdf
That's a per pupil cost of $12,771 a year. Multiply that by the current average student to teacher ratio of 18.99 you get: 

Stillwater Area Public Schools spends 
per avg class of 18.99 students...PER YEAR!
(this is assuming every teacher has their own class, which is not the case. Some teach special ed, some classes have two teachers like in early education. So this number is very conservative)

Given that 85% of the budget is spent on staffing, a classroom of 18.99 (based on $242,522), shows the staffing is $206,143 per classroom per year. Looking back at data, we see that Stillwater teachers are earning around $70,000 annually, plus benefits, so lets call it $80,000.  That leaves $126,143 for other staff... like school psychologists, secretaries... And Central Services. 

$80,000 of $242,522 on teachers is ONLY $33% of the money going towards classroom teachers. That's only 1/3 of the budget going towards the teachers in the classrooms.

Lastly, we budget $529,017 for Travel and Conferences this year in ISD834. In 2015-15 we spent $302,857. Which is a 74% INCREASE since 2014-15.

Compare that to 622 (North St Paul - Maplewood- Oakdale). They enroll 10,660 students (larger than 834). 
This year they budget $390,441 for Travel and Conferences. In 2014-15, they spent $403,587. They DECREASED that line when their enrollment decreased.

Perhaps part of the problem in Stillwater School District is a spending problem.