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Repeat After Me! Higher Spending Does Not Equal Higher Performance.

On May 16, 2006, Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services announced they had identified 12 Virginia school districts as “outperformers” for school year 2004-2005. To achieve that distinction, school districts must not only outperform their peers, but significantly exceed statistical expectations and do so consistently. In fact, 10 of the 12 districts achieved that distinction three consecutive years. The school districts, and the methodology used to select them, is available at S&P's SchoolMatters.com.

Below are the 12 school districts, including their cost per pupil, according to Table 15 of the Virginia Superintendent of Instruction’s Annual Report for FY 2005. The cost per student for these 12 school districts ranged from $7,224 to $9,672. By comparison, the Arlington Public Schools spent $16,984 per student, the highest in Virginia.

School District -- Cost per Student
Charlotte County Public Schools -- $8,123
Franklin County Public Schools -- $8,202
Halifax County Public Schools -- $9,094
Mecklenburg County Public Schools -- $7,793
Norfolk City Public Schools -- $9,076
Northampton County Public Schools -- $9,672
Patrick County Public Schools -- $7,784
Poquoson City Public Schools -- $7,224
Rockingham County Public Schools -- $8,435
Salem City Public Schools -- $8,386
Scott County Public Schools -- $8,104
West Point Public Schools -- $9,494