Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dayton Public Schools: A look at Cost per Pupil

Since Dayton Public Schools has another levy on the ballot yer humble host decided to take a look at school expenditures in comparison with other large urban districs to benchmark things a bit.

I look at two ways to measure expenditure; cost per pupil and % of total expenditure. I compare Dayton to the city schools in the 7 largest cities in Ohio:

  • Cleveland
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus
  • Toledo
  • Akron
  • Youngstown
  • Canton

And I compare different types of expenditures as classified by the Ohio Department of Education. All the data is derived from the ODE data warehouse reports page.

First, cost per pupil. This is derived by dividing total expenditures by attendance. Dayton has one of the highest costs per pupil for the center city districts.

The data warehouse report has this broken out by four classes of expenditure. Two overhead expedintures (administration and building maintenance), two support services, and instruction. As is to be expected instruction has the highest cost per pupil. Dayton is slightly higher than the median cost per pupil for instruction.

For the two overhead categories, Dayton is actually a bit below the median for administrative overhead, so the urban legend of the DPS being "fat" here is probably incorrect, at least in comparison with other urban districts.

The big difference, which Dayton shares with Youngstown in in building maintenance, where Dayton is unusually high compared with the other urban districts.

LinkOne thing to note is that higher cost per pupil doesn't necessarily equate to better academic performance. A previous post compared these same districts, and some of the lower cost/pupil districts actually outperform Dayton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great data - shows it like it is and how truly overpriced many of our public schools are and the fact that they have not reduced their bloated bureaucracy and or responded to declining student populations - Professor and Former Member of State School Board