Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spending more does not automatically make you a better school...

In this whole Doggett power grab situation, the crux sometimes gets lost. Does more spending per pupil lead to better educational outcomes?

Not necessarily (link). Excerpt follows...

So do school districts that spend more money per pupil perform better? I checked out the financial figures for the 2007-08* school year in Texas and found that more money per pupil doesn't necessarily make a school better. Of the top 10 school districts and charter schools that spent more money in operating expenses per student, one held the state's highest rating, "exemplary;" three were "recognized;" and the remaining six were "academically acceptable." (Go to the jump for a list of these schools).

Carroll ISD, an exemplary school district, spent $8,301 per student, compared to $9,446 per student in the academically-acceptable Dallas ISD.

Of 1,221 Texas school districts and charters, here's how large Dallas-area districts ranked with urban districts in spending per pupil using 2007-08 information*:
#485. Dallas ISD, $9,446, academically acceptable
#575. Austin ISD, $9,062, academically acceptable
#642. Fort Worth ISD, $8,791, academically acceptable
#674. Houston ISD, $8,709, academically acceptable
#678. El Paso ISD, $8,702, academically acceptable
#811. Plano ISD, $8,301, academically acceptable
#842. Richardson ISD, $8,220, recognized
#973. McKinney ISD, $7,859, academically acceptable
#1000. Arlington ISD, $7,795, academically acceptable
#1016. Garland ISD, $7,763, academically acceptable

*2007-08 is the latest school year that compiled financial data was readily available for all school districts.

Top 10 spending Texas districts:

1. Guthrie CSD, $29,678, exemplary
2. Grandview-Hopkins ISD, $25,666, academically acceptable
3. Valentine ISD, $25,238, academically acceptable
4. Borden County ISD, $25,098, recognized
5. San Vicente ISD, $24,652, academically acceptable
6. Terrell County ISD, $23,512, recognized
7. Big Springs Charter Schol, $23,300, academically acceptable
8. Orenda Charter School, $22,836, academically acceptable
9. Marathon ISD, $22,546, recognized
10. Boys Ranch ISD, $21,645, academically acceptable

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.