It's all about what the adults have, what they don't have, and what they want to have. We keep hearing about "budget cuts," as if there have been actual bottom-line cuts, but the total dollars for education keep going up, adults keep getting more toys, and student data points go up -- while the students' actual academic knowledge and abilities keep going down.
Did you know that, in Washington State, there is an association for the lawyers of school districts? Washington State isn't alone. There is an association for the associations of lawyers of school districts. That alone should tell you how much money, power and influence rests in public education, with the people who are supposed to be educating our children. Spokane Public Schools spends a great number of taxpayer dollars each year on legal fees, yet doesn't clearly itemize those expenses in its public released budgets.
There is very little truth out there about the money spent in public education. Here is a sample of my efforts to change that.
Below is a recap of some of the expenditures for Spokane Public Schools.
Some things to note:
As full-time enrollment for students has gone down, the overall costs per student -- whether operating costs or all costs -- has risen.
As FTE has gone down, the levy dollars have increased.
As FTE has gone down, construction costs have risen.
As FTE has gone down, costs for debt service has become ridiculous.
|Spokane Public Schools expenditures|
|FTE (Full-time enrollment)||31,518||29,050||28,093||28,478|
|Operating budget||$254.2 million||$316.8 million||$313.3 million||$329.1 million|
|Capital Projects||$14.8 million||$124 million||$142.9 million||$89.6 million|
|Debt Service||$14.2 million||$35.4 million||$37.1 million||$32.4 million|
|Total||$283.2 million||$476.1 million||$493.2 million||$451.1 million|
|Local levy for district, after rollback.|
Update: The district has indicated an increase in the 2012 levy to $73.3 million.
|$36.4 million||$59.5 million||$60.6 million||$62.5 million|
|District expenditures per student |
(based on operating expenses only).
|District expenditures per student|
(based on operating/capital projects/debt service. There are other expenses not noted here.
July 16, 2011: The Lake Wobegon Effect? Or deceit by omission?
July 29, 2011: District wants data system and more money. Taxpayers want academics and accountability. Vote for Sally.
October 9, 2011: Accountability, transparency desperately needed for education expenditures
November 13, 2011: Spokane Public Schools is a tale of two cities: And I live in the other one
January 15, 2012: Yes, vote for kids by asking adult questions about the levy
June 10, 2012: School district budget forums showcase half-truths, contempt for the public
July 17, 2012: Several school leaders refuse to say why district is adopting unproven products on top of already failed products; board president points to state
Nov. 25, 2012: Political indoctrination replacing academics as the mission of K-12 public education
Jan. 23, 2013: Common Core leading districts to adopt unproved math programs and failed approaches
May 6, 2013: Legislature and lawsuit help public education go in exactly the wrong direction. Again.
May 24, 2013: How we could fix public education, and why it won't happen
June 16, 2013: Children are key to America's future. The governments wants control of that key.