Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What Does It Cost To Produce A High School Graduate In Marion County?

The average cost in Marion County by school to graduate a high school student yields few surprises. The most costly school is IPS at $383,594, while the least costly school is Washington Township at less than half IPS' cost at $154,137. How could the costs vary so wildly within the same county? The statistics were compiled by an avid Advance Indiana reader and Washington Township school board member Greg Wright based on information furnished by the Department of Education. "This is my personal short-cut for determining the efficiency of a K-12 district," Wright says. "I believe that one very important measure of a public school district is the cost to produce a high school graduate." "Since it measures the efficiency of all expenditures, this analysis doesn’t leave great opportunity for creative accounting." Wright notes that Speedway's numbers don't include any student transportation costs, contributing to its lower numbers. Washington Township has several popular private schools, which tends to reduce its K-8 student population Wright adds.

1. IPS ($383,594)
2. Decatur Township ($289,515)
3. Pike Township ($263,569)
4. Wayne Township ($244,179)
5. Franklin Township ($223,605)
6. Lawrence Township ($216,946)
7. Perry Township ($213,235)
8. Warren Township ($201,842)
9. Beech Grove ($178,035)
10. Speedway ($161,244)
11. Washington Township ($154,137)


Jon said...

Just as a personal curiosity can we have the calculations that determined these results?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Provide me an e-mail address and I can send it to you.

Ashley James said...

How closely does this relate to the drop out rate? Declining IPS enrollment also likely plays a roll since some students will likely go to a few years at IPS and then move to the township schools to graduate.

Jon said...

The numbers in the article are grossly inflated. Per the www.doe.state.in.us web site and corportation 5385 (IPS) the last four years per pupil expenditure across all funds was; 2004-2005 $12,355, 2005-2006 $12,656, 2006-2007 $13,357 and for 2007-2008 $13,563. The sum of those four years is $51,931. The article quoted IPS cost as $383,000+ which is over 7 times greater than the actual cost. Even doubling that amount due to IPS 47.2% graduation rate the quoted amount is 250K high.

schoolboardgreg said...

The approach summarized in the Advance Indiana column was to calculate the total cost to run the school from kindergarten through high school and dividing that cost by the number of high school graduates: (student enrollment (34,052) X Expenditures per Pupil from all Funds ($13,563)) divided by the number of high school graduates (1,204).
Yes, there are other techniques and one year does not tell the whole story; but, it does give an indication or relative performance.

Jon said...

Reply to Greg, why not use the cost of years in schools times the per pupil cost? Anyone who is in school from Kindergarten to grade 12 would be in school 13 years (13 * 13357 = 173641). If you use total enrollment times cost divided by graduates that is an apples and oranges comparison because of the difference in graduation rates. IPS graduated 47.2% of their students in 2007-2008 what then is the cost of the 52.8% of non graduates?

Like it or not the "quick" comparison of schools is per pupil cost. Compare IPS's 13357 per pupil to Speedway's 9013 per pupil and it is 48% more expensive to educate an IPS student versus a Speedway student.