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Arlington County Schools: Highest Cost, But What Are The Results?

The Arlington Sun-Gazette reports on the Arlington School Board’s approval of the FY 2007 Schools $398.3 million budget Thursday evening. The Sun-Gazette’s reporter, Ryan Self, asks, “What will it cost taxpayers to educate each of the school system’s projected 18,263 students over the next school year?” Acknowledging that “school officials don’t like it this way, the easiest calculation is to take the total adopted budget and divide it by the number of students,” and that number is $21,792 per student.

Arlington school officials report a number in their budget of $17,923, which is calculated according to the “WABE Method” to provide comparability across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (explained on page 51 of the Superintendent’s proposed FY 2007 budget). However, when debt service and other spending is included, total expenditures in the budget are $398.3 million. Future growls will address just what Arlington taxpayers are receiving for their tax dollars.