Back in the early 1990’s, before I even thought of homeschooling, I became appalled with what I saw regarding education funding in my school district.
I live in Federal Way, Washington. I had always believed in supporting the school. My father was a teacher as were his four brothers, my grand mother and great grand mother. I know the value of an education. I had always just automatically voted for any and all requests the schools had for money.
Then I did some digging.
I learned that schools were spending $5,500 per student. (That figure today is $12,500 per student). That seemed a bit high. Schools are exempt from property taxes and they enjoy several other benefits that should help keep costs down.
I decided to prepare a budget for a single classroom of 30 kids. I called this:
“A Bogus Budget Based On Bona fied Bottom-line Bucks”
Let’s see, the schools get $5,500 per student and there are 30 students per class so $5,500 X 30= $165,000. So we have an operating budget of $165,000 for a class of 30 kids.
The building is paid for out of another budget. So are school lunches. So what does this $165,000 cover?
- Teachers Salaries ($60,000 including payroll costs to the district).
- Books (Six classes so there must be six books at a cost of $50.00 each for a $600 total per student or $18,000 per year). This of course assumes that they never reuse any books.
- Utilities (Heat, water, lights, maybe $1,000 a month for ten months).
- Bus Transportation. Let’s assume $3.00 per day per student and that half of them will travel by bus. This comes to $8,100
So far we have successfully spent $96,100 of the $165,000. Only $68,900 to go.
To make a long story short I could not think of enough ways to spend all the money they had so I went to a school board meeting and asked for their help. I gave them all a copy of the Bogus Budget and they just sat there staring at it.
Today they have a budget of $375,000 per classroom. The costs have not changed significantly from what they were in the early 1990’s. I am still wondering where all the money goes.
Sure, schools need principles, librarians and libraries, counselors, etc. I still cannot conceive of anything that could result is a true need for $375,000 for a class of 30 kids. Just imagine how much money could be saved if families were to homeschool. Per Pupil costs drop from $12,500 to $1200, unless they are using A2 Curriculum in which case it can easily be accomplished for $500 a year.
With our nation facing massive deficits as far as the eye can see, isn’t it time that we stop and examine what we are doing as a nation, and how we are spending our financial resources?