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The Things Arlington Public Schools Management Isn't Telling Us

The online edition of the Arlington Sun-Gazette has a commentary posted which explains many of the factors causing the Arlington public schools to have the highest per-pupill spending of all the government school systems in Northern Virginia. The letter/commentary is from ACTA's president in response to a "Thumbs Down" that the Sun-Gazette had given to the "Arlington Public Schools for "having no one at the top who can explain why the Arlington schools cost 38 percent more per pupil than in neighboring Fairfax County and 75 percent more than in Prince William County." The last among a litany of reasons, Wise explained "the revenue-sharing agreement between the County Board and School Board enables school officials to avoid some of the scrutiny from Arlington taxpayers they otherwise would." Now taxpayers know why the Arlington Public Schools are spending more than $16,000 per pupil in the current school year.

Think about this for a while. In 2005, the Arlington schools spent $4,276 more per pupil than did the Fairfax County schools. The Arlington schools enroll approximately 18,000 students. So here's the question: why does management of the Arlington schools need over $76 million more to educate kids in Arlington than would the management of the Fairfax County schools? Sure seems to be a reasonable question.

We understand the "commentary" will appear in the newspaper's January 26 edition.