Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Charts and charts!

If you were watching Council tonight, you may have seen me testify in response to this item from the city administration on Worcester Public Schools funding. I've posted the charts that I put together and handed out to the Council below. (As per usual, if you click on them, they'll get bigger.)
WPS funding sources for FY12. The bulk of the funding comes from the state via Chapter 70 funds, as per the Ed Reform Act agreement that the state would pick up the bulk of school funding for urban districts. The city funds 29.4% of WPS operational funds this year.

Most of the state aid provided to the municipality for FY12.
Steady and increasing.

...due to this: increased enrollment in the Worcester Public Schools.
Not only that, but more students with ELL and special education needs, thus higher rates
 of funding needed to meet their needs.

The next two charts were from the Mass Budget and Policy Center presentation: Figure 11 and 12 here. These demonstrate the gaps in the foundation budget (that funding does not meet costs) for most accounts, and that costs of health insurance and special education have greatly exceeded the foundation budget assumptions. The second chart demonstrates how most districts have met their needs: by funding over foundation. Leading to:
...a comparison of Worcester's spending above required minimum compared to several other Gateway Cities.
You'll see that Worcester is below all, and in fact below zero for two years running.
In case you couldn't see the Worcester line clearly, a chart of Worcester's spending above required minimum.
We're at -0.1 percent for the second year in a row.

You can find these charts as PDFs here.

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