Schooling is one of the most important things in a person’s life. Children learn many lessons during school time that will stay with them throughout the life. Many state governments spend a big portion of their annual budget on schools. Most of the governments fund both private and governmental schools. But still very few schools properly spend this money on development of students. Nobody knows where the money goes. The schools have so many small expenses that it is very difficult to keep track of the money. Sometimes the school administration is not able to find the source of their loss for years. There are also many schools that are not able to spend the money of student development due to corrupt officials. Many such scams have been exposed in past years. So, if you want to know whether your school, your kid’s school or the school you work for is spending money on the right things you need to look for a certain things.
What to look for?
The expenditure at schools is categorised into four different types. These are instructional expenses, student and staff support, administrational expenses and the other expenditures. Instructional expenses include teacher’s salaries, school supplies, etc. Student and staff support includes the money spent on the physical and psychological wellbeing of students and staff members like guidance, therapy, counselling, etc. Administrational expenses are the ones on the board of directors, office of the principal, central office, etc. Finally the others category includes all the things that are left like salaries of genitor, driver, cafeteria worker, security guard, etc and the money spend on utilities and maintenance.
There are some state level and national level organisations, both governmental and private, release reports about how much the schools are spending and on what things. While most of these reports are very complicated, they are decoded for the understanding of regular population by the people like Joseph Tramontana. These reports have the information about the average overall expenditure and category wise expenditures of all the schools in the country. Some reports also have the state wise average expenditures. For example, according to the report of 2006 by United States Census Bureau the national average was $8.287 per student per year. It might seem very less but there are schools which are spending even lesser than that.
So compare your school’s overall expenditure and category wise expenditures with the national and the state average to get an idea of where is the money going at your school. And if after comparing you find out that your school is spending less than the average on instructional expenditures than it is a red flag. You can question the school officials like principal or superintendent about it. Even if your school is spending equal to the average, you should look into the programs in which the school is claiming to spend that money. In these cases you can’t be careful enough.
How to Stay Aware?
There is a lot of information on school finance and school funding on the internet. You will find many blogs and websites regarding the same if you search. While most of these websites have correct and useful data but the best person to learn from is Joseph Tramontana. He has been working in area of school financials from a long time. He also runs websites and blogs to make the regular people aware of the system. You can go to his blog to read the posts about how the system works. You can also ask questions regarding any doubt or confusion you are having in understanding the financials of your school.