Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where does the money go? PPS graduation rates vs. other Portland schools

It's been well established that for the past 15 years or so, per student spending at Portland Public Schools has been higher--and has grown faster--than spending in other Portland area districts.  The most recent data show that PPS spending is almost 20 percent higher per student than in other Portland districts.

In a normal world, one would say, "That's OK, we spend so much more because we do so much more." One thing that PPS definitely is not doing is spending that extra money on improving graduation rates.

That's right, PPS has the second highest spending and the second lowest graduation rate.

An old management guru once said, "Do less, achieve more."  One of the first lessons in financial economics is, "Spending is not investing." Spending money on things like "Courageous Conversations" about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is money wasted.  Investing is developing a program to educate and graduate students pays off well into the future.