November 16, 2007

What's It Cost?

What’s it cost to educate a student with no special needs in a large school district with an average cost of living to “proficiency?” Pennsylvania has just completed a “costing-out” study and pegs the expense at $8,003 per year based on its academic standards.


But when students living in poverty, the number of limited English proficient (LEP) students, special education and gifted students are also factored in, the average cost rises to $12,057.


Based on that figure, 474 of the state’s 501 school districts spend less than that. Indeed, as the Post-Gazette reports, “The state and school districts spent an average of about $9,512 per student during the 2005-06 school year, the most recent year for which the state has data…state and local governments would need to spend about $4.81 billion per year more on education than they do today, the study concluded,” with Philadelphia needing more than $1 billion of that money.