Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm joining the ranks of Portland Public School parents asking, "Where does the money go?"

A friend of ours from the Mt. Tabor Preschool days has joined the growing ranks of parents who have had it with Portland Public Schools misplaced priorities.

She has a simple goal: Provide the number of teachers necessary to offer a full schedule for every student.

At the high school level parents are fed up with an eight-period schedule spread over two days. In some schools--such as Grant High School--the schedule has translated into jam-packed study halls to meet instruction-time requirements. In others, students have 90 minutes free in the middle of the day.

As part of the PPS push for equity over excellence, top students seeking advance classes are told to sign up for study hall or P.E. because the district does not have the resources to teach every kid.

All this raises the question: Where does the money go?

I downloaded the data for every school district in Oregon and put together this table.  In the 2011-12 school year, PPS spent $11,900 per student.  On average, other Portland districts spent $10,100 per student.

That means that PPS spends almost 20 percent more per student than other Portland districts.

Again, where does the money go?