2014-04 Chilton Public Schools – A Great Education at a Low Cost

Written on . Posted in District Spring Newsletter

Mar192015

2014-04 Chilton Public Schools – A Great Education at a Low Cost

 

For the past year, Dr. Martin, Chilton Superintendent, and Mrs. Lau, Chilton Business Manager, have been inviting community members to participate in “Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools,” a tabletop exercise to learn more about how public schools are financed.  One of the most frequent questions asked during our discussions was, “How does Chilton’s spending compare with other schools and are we getting the best ‘Bang for the Buck’?” The participants were pleasantly surprised by the answer.  They were also surprised at the large disparity in these costs from school districts across the state.

The five year trend data from the ACT College Admissions test show that Chilton exceeds the state average in test scores while the 2011-2012 data (most current available) attained from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Current Education costs (direct instructional costs) are below the state average.  This provides a positive answer to the “bang for the buck” question.  Chilton students preparing for graduation and college entrance score above the state average; while the District’s direct instructional costs are below the state average.  The charts below illustrate this conclusion.  Though not the lowest spending district for current educational costs, Chilton is 6% below the state average and less than half the cost of the highest spending district in the state.

Cost Per Pupil (2011-2012 Department of Public Instruction Data)

 

Chilton

State Avg

Lowest+

Highest*

Admin and Operation

$2,328

$2,687

$1,855

$9,038

Pupil and Staff Services

$1,469

$1,080

$860

$1,741

Instruction

$6,085

$6,748

$5,499

$10,924

Current Education

$9,883

$10,515

$8,213

$21,702

Facilities

$2,216

$788

$892

$535

Transportation

$441

$499

$413

$1,614

Total Education

$12,540

$11,802

$9,518

$23,851

Food & Comm. Serv.

$566

$573

$594

$1,959

Total Cost

$13,106

$12,375

$10,112

$25,810

+ Hudson
* North Lakeland, Manitowish Waters

ACT Five Year Trends – Percent of Students Who Met College Readiness Benchmarks

 

 

Year

Number of

Students Tested

School          State

Percent Who Met Benchmarks

English          Mathematics        Reading             Science              Met All Four

School   State    School   State    School   State    School   State      School   State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

79            46,658

81            47,755

69            47,693

53            47,588

63            46,574

75          77

80          75

83          75

79          75

84          75

57          53

63          53

49          54

53          54

68          54

58           62

73           60

57           60

57           59

54           53

34           37

47           38

38           39

36           38

59           47

28           30

40           31

30           32

32           31

43           33

ACT Five Year Trends – Average Scores

 

 

Year

Number of

Students Tested

School          State

Average ACT Scores

English          Mathematics        Reading             Science               Composite

School   State    School  State     School   State     School   State      School   State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

79            46,658

81            47,755

69            47,693

53            47,588

63            46,574

20.8    21.7

22.2    21.5

21.7    21.6

21.3    21.5

22.5    21.5

22.4    22.2

22.8    22.0

21.7    22.1

22.3    22.0

23.4    22.0

21.9     22.6

24.1     22.3

22.1     22.2

22.4     22.1

22.7     22.3

22.1     22.3

23.3     22.2

22.0     22.3

21.8     22.1

23.6     22.2

21.9     22.3

23.2     22.1

22.0     22.2

22.1     22.1

23.2     22.1

The one area Chilton exceeds the state average cost is in the facilities category which are the expenses associated with the debt repayment for construction.  The High School building and pool were built in 2003, so the data provided above is eight years into a 20 year debt.  Though the district has refinanced this debt twice for an estimated savings to the taxpayer of $990,000, this debt will continue for another 12 years.  It will be a number of years before this category drops to a level similar to that of the state average.

If you are interested in learning more about how public schools are financed, please contact Lisa M. Lau, Business Manager, at laul@chilton.k12.wi.us or 849-7199.

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