Monday, January 28, 2013

The cost of educating a student in the Minneapolis public schools. It isn't cheap. $23,000 per student.

It isn't cheap educating a student in the Minneapolis public schools.  The organization Better Ed says,
According to Minneapolis Public Schools, the district’s total budget for the 2012-2013 school year will be $742,700,845. That amount will be spent to educate 32,263 students. Some quick, back-of-the-napkin math reveals the district is spending an average of $23,020 per student!

Now, is every dollar neatly assigned to every student? Of course not. Nonetheless the calculation is useful for putting the district’s performance in perspective. Between 2007 and 2011 (2012 numbers pending), less than half of Minneapolis' high school seniors graduated on time. Less than half!

If you were a parent who could spend $23,000 on your children’s education, would you send them to a district where less than half of the kids are graduating on time? Or might you look around for alternatives?

For $23,000 you can get your child into one of the top private schools in the Twin Cities, as the chart above indicates. Indeed, tuition at The Blake School this year runs $23,525 for grades 9-12. If you were to choose a less expensive school, you might even be able to bank some money for college.

Now, it isn't a straight-up, apples-to-apples comparison looking at Minneapolis’ average spending compared to tuition at a private school. But it does give you an idea of the kind of education $23,000 can purchase elsewhere in the Metro.

Furthermore, the chart above tells us that there isn't a spending problem, but rather a system problem in Minneapolis. With $742 million at their disposal, shouldn't our education leaders in Minneapolis be achieving better outcomes for our kids?

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