Thursday, September 3, 2015
What Can Be Done To Lower DPS' Spending?
We love Dorchester Public School. We love the building; the teachers; the administration; and the students.
To be clear, we think DPS ranks among the best Class D schools in the state.
But an investigation by the Times has found that the cost of educating our students significantly exceeds the state average.
That leads us to ask: Can our school and our school board do more to keep the costs of educating our kids in check?
According to our investigation, Dorchester Public School's per-student cost for school year 2013-14 was $16,911, when broken down by average daily membership.
When using average daily attendance, it cost our school district taxpayers $17,506 per pupil.
Those are shocking figures -- especially considering that 20 years ago the cost per pupil was around $6,400 a year.
Why should you care? Consider that funding for K-12 education makes up 60% of the average property tax bill in Nebraska.
Then consider that during the 2013-14 school year, the average cost per pupil across the state was about $11,364. That means it costs DPS $5,547 more per year, per student.
Now keep in mind that Dorchester does not boast the most expensive per-pupil cost in the county. That distinction belongs to Friend Public School, which has a per-student cost of $18,007 when tabulated by average daily membership. Friend's per-student cost is $18,812 when figured by average daily attendance.
Crete Public Schools spent $11,088 per pupil. Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools spent $10,746 per pupil.
Statewide, the lowest cost per pupil belongs to Gretna Public Schools, which spent $9,380 per student. The highest cost per pupil belongs to Wheeler Central Public School, which spent a whopping $28,276 for every K-12 student.
The comparisons are at: http://www.education.ne.gov/FOS/SchoolFinance/AFR/PPCArchive.html