Monday, January 17, 2005

Times editorial on Janey's budget

The Washington Times editorial board doesn't think too highly of superintendent Janey's budget proposal:
Superintendent Clifford Janey proposed a $1 billion D.C. school budget last week. Ninety-two percent of the money won't reach the overwhelming majority of the system's 64,000 students, however, since 62 percent is slotted for personnel costs and 30 percent is slotted for special education. The sum equals a disappointing (and expensive) plan that focuses on teachers and spending instead of teaching and learning.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you happen to have any information on what percentage of D.C. school system students are in special education, and how many students that actually represents?

Nathan said...

As of 2003 (the lastest count) DCPS had 1,058 special ed students out of a total of 65,099, roughly 1.6%. Data can be found here. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Duh. What does "get to the students mean"? Handouts of cash right into their pockets? No, it means that the expenses of running the system are covered, and probably the major expense is teacher salaries. Do you expect them to work for free instead of the large part of that 62% you say is not getting to the students?

Nathan said...

You'll have to check with the Times editorial staff to see what they mean by "get to the students," but from what I can tell one of their beefs is not with teachers salaries but the fact that 30% of the budget goes towards 1.6% of the student population. I realize that special education costs will be greater than non-special ed costs, but 30% seems awfully high.

For instance the transportation budget for special education has been larger (by as much as a factor of five) than transportation budgets for entire comparibly sized urban school districts.

Anonymous said...

Uh, no. Note that they explicitly say that 92 percent of the money won't reach the overwhelming majority, not 30 percent. And they include the entire 62 percent of personnel costs in the 92 percent (92=30+62).

Nathan said...

Again, check with the Times editorial staff with respect to the beef you have with their editorial.

Nathan said...

Update: I checked with DCPS and they say there are ~12,000 special education students within the system. Not sure why the document on their website only lists ~1,000.