On a per student basis, Arlington is spending more on administrative functions and less on instruction than almost every other school district in Northern Virginia, reports Michael Lee Pope of the Arlington Connection.
Here’s an excerpt:
Alexandria and Arlington spend less for instruction per capita than every other school division in Northern Virginia. And the two jurisdictions spend more on administration per capita than most other localities in the region.
These are the findings of a recent report issued by the Auditor of Public Accounts in Virginia, numbers collected from various jurisdictions during their annual budget process. School officials and elected leaders in Alexandria and Arlington admit they might not have the economy of scale of Fairfax County, a division with about 170,000 students. But with 20,000 students in Arlington and 12,000 students in Alexandria, they say the trade-off is a more personalized environment.
“Am I satisfied? No. I always think we can do better,” said Arlington School Board Chairwoman Libby Garvey. “But I will say that I think we deliver a very good value for the dollar.”
“There’s a general perception that more money in the classroom is more critical than money for administration,” said John Vigstadt, a member of the Arlington Council of PTAs. “I think we need to take periodic look at what these administrators do to make sure all these positions are justified.”