August 11, 2009

Where's the Money for Sports and Supplies?

Marc Comtois

Kids paying for school sports. Teachers paying for their own supplies. The PTOs and PTAs being asked to do more and more every year. According to the Census Bureau (2007 data published in 2009), Rhode Island is 8th in the nation in per pupil spending at $12,612. Where does all of that money go?

Of the $12,612 Rhode Island spends for each student (on average), $10,852 (86%) goes to salaries ($7,642) and benefits ($3,210) for adults (teachers, administrators, bus drivers, etc.). Of the money that goes to the Census Bureau category of "Instruction", which I take to mean the actual teaching component of the education system, compensation accounts for $7,223 ($5,161 for salaries and $2,062 for benefits) of the $7,334 per student (98.5%). That leaves $111 for things like, well, school supplies and the like, I guess.

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I've suggested that teachers should adjust their next contract so those electing to take the insurance buyout get something a little more reasonable. In most contracts (aren't they all the same?) that the buyout is about half of the cost of the insurance. This can be $5,000 or more. So why don't they adjust that down to like $1,000 and then use the remainder for things like school supplies. Since not all teachers take the buyout, this would benefit more of them. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Posted by: Patrick at August 11, 2009 9:15 PM
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