Costs have increased, and these must be considered for a comparison between years.
Looking at total funding or total expenditures doesn’t get you a clear comparison when needs and costs are increasing every year.
1. Increasing Enrollment:
Enrollment increased by over 15,000 students between 2009 and 2015. At a base of $3852, without even adding weightings to adjust for differing costs, this is an increased need of over $60M.
2. Increasing Numbers of At-Risk Kids:
Kids in poverty cost more to educate, and that’s why there were weightings in the formula tied to free and reduced lunch, to address those higher needs and costs.
In 2009 there were 152,117 kids on free or reduced lunch. That number increased by over 41,000 students by 2015. That’s 41,000 more students who are more costly to educate. At a base of $3852 and at risk weighting of 0.456, this adds an additional $72M in increased need and cost.
3. Increasing Numbers of English Language Learners:
Kids who are still learning English take more resources and cost more to educate. Again, like the at-risk weighting, there was a weighting in the formula to address this higher need and cost. In 2009 districts had about 100,000 contact hours with ELL kids. That number had increased by 57,000 hours by 2015. That’s an increase of 58% by 2015. At a base of $3852 and bilingual weighting of 0.395,this adds $14.5M in increased need and cost.
The weightings were in the formula because they represented needs and additional costs. If you’re going to look at total funding or total expenditures, you need to make an apples to apples comparison. Looking at spending on a per pupil basis helps account for enrollment changes, but it does nothing to account for the increasing costs and needs districts have due to the increasing numbers of high cost kids.
For a valid comparison, you need to look at the total expenditures per weighted student. Doing that, and converting to 2015 dollars, shows that districts had $941 less per weighted student in 2015 than they did in 2009. On this basis, not only is total funding down since 2009, it is lower than what the State promised the Court in Montoy they would fund to get the Montoy case dismissed. To get total funding and expenditures equal to 2009, on a weighted basis, Districts would need an additional $641M.
The result is obvious, regardless of whether total spending is up or not. Significant numbers of students are not meeting the Rose Standards. This is caused by the State not funding what it takes to meet the
2009 to 2015 Comparison
|State Aid (note that the 20 mill levy was shifted from the local column to state column during this time)||Increased||681,740,701|
|Local Aid (note 20 mill shift above)||Decreased||(358,517,517)|
|Total Net Increase in Total Aid||Increased||419,798,027|
|Total Expenditures (all funds):||Increased||413,265,668|
|Federal Food Assistance||Increased||79,201,000|
|Additional targeted federal aid||Increased||17,374,000|
|Local Levies for Cost of Living, Ancillary and Declining Enrollment for only 7-8 districts||Increased||25,025,761|
|Additional LOB for only 29 districts who were able to pass an election||Increased||17,260,968|
|Enrollment Increase of 15,651.3 FTE x 3852 (2015 base)||Increased||60,288,808|
|Increased At-Risk weightings 41,136 more at-risk x 0.456 x 3852||Increased||72,255,878|
|Increased Bilingual weightings 57,478 more hrs / 6 x 0.395 x 3852||Increased||14,575,846|
|Total NET change in available dollars when controlling for increases in targeted dollars and changes in need over 6 years||Total increase over 6 years||18,932,407|
|Average annual increase||3,155,401|
BUT this is in Nominal Dollars, not Real Dollars. You need to adjust for inflation over the 6 years…
|Adjusting 2009 total expenditures ($5.67B) using the US Department of Labor CPI calculator shows 2015 expenditures should have been $594M more just to stay even ($6.26B).||6 year increase for inflation should
|Inflation requires an annual increase in required funding to maintain the same purchasing power||Annual inflation increase should have
|Total NET change since 2009 in Real Dollars ($594M inflation – $19M actual increase)||6 year decrease||(574,849,593)|
|Average annual decrease||(95,808,266)|