Per Pupil Spending in Large & Small Schools In Arkansas Per Pupil Spending for Small and Large Schools

 

The 5 Largest Schools in Arkansas  Spent $58.8 Million Above the State Average Per Pupil - 100 Smallest Schools Spent Only 13.5 million Above State Average

 

              The public has been told now for months that consolidation is necessary to prevent the waste of tax dollars in operating small schools.  A look at the facts  would cause any thinking person to wonder how the governor and media were able to twist the facts so effectively and create this perception among the public.

 

            The 5 largest schools in Arkansas combined  spent approximately 58.8 million dollars above the state average per pupil in 2002.    The 100 smallest schools in Arkansas combined,  and  spent approximately  13.5  million above state average.  So the five largest  schools spent  well over four times the amount above state average than did the 100 smallest schools.  (See tables below for statistics)   The entire state and political process and  all the communities and schools have been disrupted and an expensive   longest special legislative session in modern history conducted  for a mere 13.5 million dollars which is a tiny, tiny fraction of  the 2.7 billion state and local spending for that year, one half of  one percent to be exact.  And nothing has been done about the larger schools that spent 58.8 million dollars above the state average.  Discrimination perhaps?

 

            Many  of  these smallest schools with high per pupil spending are in isolated districts and will cost more per pupil even if  they are annexed or consolidated.  In  some of  those schools students would be on the bus or in transit   longer than 4 hours if  they travel to another school.  Highland District,  which is a consolidation of  3 schools and which still has less than 1500 students, spends $700 to $800 thousand dollars a year on transportation.

 

            According to the Department of Education, schools of 1,000 or more students experience 825 percent more violent crime, 270 percent more vandalism and 1,000 percent more weapons incidents, compared to those with fewer than 300 students. “Better Schools Come on Smaller Campuses” by Stacy Mitchell. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smallschools/message/442

          Numerous studies also  show performance levels are higher in small schools.    Ted Sizer said no school - elementary, middle, or secondary - should have more than 200 students.   Sizer heads the Coalition for Essential Schools, which has numerous school reform projects around the nation and he has received millions of dollars from Walter Annenberg to assist his efforts. SCHOOL SIZE - BIGGER IS NOT BETTER
By David W. Kirkpatrick  http://www.schoolreport.com/schoolreport/articles/schoolsize_9_98.htm

          The  average number of course offerings for these schools under 500 is 49,  10  courses above the recent Adequacy Study requirement.  Course requirement for graduation is 21.  With technology and distance learning, no time in history has allowed the possibility for future expansion of courses in small schools. For details and particular schools see http://www.afaar.org/Course%20Offerings%20-%20Schools%20and%20Number%20Offered.htm

           It is  incredible that the  perception in Arkansas and by the Supreme Court  is that these small schools are costing taxpayers in Arkansas  so much that it is urgent for them to do something about this situation.    

           

             Arkansas has just  increased its  annual education budget by about 450 million dollars to solve our educational problems. The state could have supplemented these small schools with  a lot of  extra  money and increased teacher salaries tremendously, and the above state average  per pupil spending would still not have equaled that of  the largest districts because the number of  pupils is so small compared to the large schools that are spending above state average.  That is what the legislature did in Rhode Island – decided to fund the small schools.     Also note that the legislature just set aside 38 million dollars for these schools under 350 to consolidate.  That would have paid the above average state spending for these small schools  for 4 years.        

 

            The above  figures were derived by  using the statistical table the Arkansas Democrat Gazette published  February 1,  03, in which they organized  the school districts into ten categories by size and average per pupil spending by size (See below) The element left out of  the table was the number of students in each grouping.  By adding in that factor (column 4 below)  one can determine the amount of money above  or below  state average  each size grouping spent.  That  is quite enlightening.

 

            If you go on up to the number of   smaller schools to  equal the 79,272 enrollment of the five largest schools in Arkansas , the 13.5 figure would actually decrease even more for the smaller schools’  figure because all schools  in the next categories are slightly under (none by more than 400.00) the state average per pupil spending of  $5,867.00.   (See table below) 

 

Calculations:  Also see statistical table below by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

 

 

At a later time this next section could be done as one group when time permits.

            spent above state average.

 

 

Arkansas Democrat Gazette Table, Feb 1, 2003  with columns 4, 6, 7 & 8 in red font added.  For original Arkansas Democrat Gazette table see last item on this e-mail.

 

2002 average spent per pupil, excluding federal funding: 

 

No. of pupils in dist.

No.of districts

% of total districts

No of students in districts

Av. spending per pupil

Average, spending above state av. 

Total spending  above state average

 

 

00-99

2

.6%

164

$10,178

$4,311

707,004

 

 

100-199

11

3.5%

1709

8,905

$3,038

5,191,942

 

 

200-299

35

11.3%

9,188

6,750

$883

$8,113,004

14,011,950  total 1st three groups

 

300-499

52

16.8%

21,531

5,841

-26.00

less than state av.

-$559,806

less  than state av.

14,011,950 – 559,806 =$13.5 million

$13.5 million for small schs.

500-999

97

31.3%

 

5,498

 

 

 

 

1,000-1499

37

11.9%

 

5,407

 

 

 

 

1,500-2,499

34

11.0%

 

5,500

 

 

 

 

2,500-4,999

27

8.7%

 

5,528

 

 

 

 

5,000-9,999

10

3.2%

 

5,819

 

 

 

 

10,000-49,999

5

1.6%

79,272

6,609

$742

$58.8 million

 

$58.8 million for large schs..

 

 

Total 310

 

State Average. $5,867

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  Democrat Gazette had 300-399 on the 4th grouping above but it should have been 300-499.  It must have been a typographical error.

 

 

Original Table from the Gazette

 

From Gazette article  Feb 1, 2003 Entitled “Fill in blanks, schools told”  T

 

2002 average spent per pupil, excluding federal funding:

 

No. of pupils in dist.

No.of districts

% of total districts

Av. spending per pupil

00-99

2

.6%

$10,178

100-199

11

3.5%

8,905

200-299

35

11.3%

6,750

300-399

52

16.8%

5,841

500-999

97

31.3%

5,498

1,000-1499

37

11.9%

5,407

1,500-2,499

34

11.0%

5,500

2,500-4,999

27

8.7%

5,528

5,000-9,999

10

3.2%

5,819

10,000-49,999

5

1.6%

6,609

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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