New study weighs school districts' productivity

By Crystal Price - bio | email

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - A new study conducted by the Center for American Progress measures the "educational productivity" of schools across the country to show which districts get the most bang for their buck.

The center performed a district-by-district evaluation on more than 9,000 school districts nationwide to provide a public indicator of how well local school districts are spending their money.

According to the center's study, the school districts who received the most money spent more on teachers than on administrators, worked with the community to save money, and went through with difficult decisions which included closing under enrolled schools.

The study included three different tiers which included Basic Return on Educational Investment (ROI), Adjusted ROI, and Predicted Index.

The Basic ROI study examined how much academic achievement a district gets per dollar spent. Beauregard and Calcasieu Parishes scored very high in this tier of the study.

Jeff Davis Parish Public Schools ranked very well in the Predicted Index tier of the study. This tier examined which districts scored higher than the projected base on the amount spent per pupil.

"I feel like it's a good indication that we are using the money wisely," said David Clayton, Superintendent for Jeff Davis Parish Schools. "We're not wasting money and we're keeping our dollars in the classroom where they belong."

Clayton said that even in this tough economy Jeff Davis Parish has made an effort to spend 74 percent of their funding in the classroom. The district superintendent added that there is a push nationwide to keep at least 80 percent of the school spending in the classroom.

"Our cuts for the year 2010-11 did not include teachers," said Clayton. "We really believe that a teacher in the classroom and a fair sized class is our best weapon in student achievement."

For more information on how well your school did in the evaluation, click on "Center for American Progress report" to the right.

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