Friday, August 14, 2015

Spending Your Tax Dollars on Education


The Utah Taxpayer Association recently published data on Utah's 41 school districts and how they spent tax dollars for the last fiscal year.

Here is their report:




There is some really interesting information in this report.  I wanted to take a look at Ogden and Weber School Districts specifically to see how they compared to the state average.  Here are some charts I created from the data:




Lets take a look at spending per student in various categories.  Instruction costs are less in Ogden School District compared to Weber School District and the State Average.  Yet, media costs are significantly more.  Ogden SD has higher student support costs while Weber has higher student transport costs.  Facility construction is extremely low for Ogden SD and high for Weber SD.  Ogden SD also has much higher nutrition expenses.

These data sets aren't very surprising given that Ogden School District serves a very old urban center while Weber School District serves an area that is still growing in population and suburban sprawl.  I believe the spike in media spending in Ogden SD may be representative of the technology focus on ESL and improved learning.  Ogden SD has been involved in a very rigorous program focused on enhancing student achievement. You can read more about the results of that program.


Both Weber SD and Ogden SD pay higher than the average wage for teachers in Utah.  Kudos to them for doing so.


Finally, here is the total spent per pupil.  Weber School District mirrors the state average closely while Ogden School District spends significantly more.  

A special thanks to the Taxpayer Association for gathering and publishing this data in a format that is comprehensible.  For policymakers like myself, this is very helpful information.  

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