Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Per Pupil Spending

After tonight's School Board meeting, Tom Campbell and I had a lively discussion about per-student spending. During the meeting, a Board member said that California is 47th in the country in per-student spending. Tom felt that the per-student figures are meaningless. While I agree that it's possible to lie through the statistics, there might be merit in a claim that CA is missing the boat if we're 47th in the country. After all, Los Altos is a very expensive place to live. It costs more to service a car here, to visit a dentist,, and even to buy groceries. It should stand to reason that our expenditures per pupil would also be higher than some, if not all of the other parts of the country.

This prompted me to go do some research. I wanted to know how the LASD stacked up against the national averages. I looked up the statistics on the US Census Bureau web site. The latest data they have is for 2005. Here's what I found:

CA Spending Per Pupil: $8,067
LASD Spending Per Pupil $9,739

(sources: US Census 2005 Annual Survey of Local Government Finances,
LASD 2008-09 Budget Executive Summary)

The CA per pupil spending ranks us 27th in the country, not 47th as was stated at the School Board meeting. The LASD per student spending would put us 15th compared to the other states.

Having said that, I stand by my earlier post about the desperate need to improve the district funding. We just want to make sure we're accurate in the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.