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How the Arlington Public Schools Use Your Taxes

Competition and the profit motive in private industry help consumers get the most product or service at the lowest price. A comparison of the 2007 Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE) report to the 2000 Metropolitan Area Boards of Education (MABE) shows just how insulated the Arlington Public Schools are from competition.

Consider the following numbers for the Arlington Public Schools:

Fiscal Year

Enrollment, K-12

School-Based Teachers










What a system! For 880 fewer students, APS gets another 178.7 teachers. Decreasing productivity and increasing teacher pay. Wow! Life for APS top management is indeed good because there is no competition. Granted, it didn't happen in one swoop, but the mumbers should be raising questions among Arlington taxpayers if not at the Education Center on North Quincy Street.

Both the June 2006 and June 2007 issues of the Watchdog newsletters contained graphs showing how county spending increased much faster than inflation. The October 2006 Watchdog also compared tax burdens of Northern Virginia jurisdictions. Those numbers showed that for FY 2005, Arlington had the highest tax burden among the four Northern Virginia counties. The large bite taken out of county budget by APS is one factor that results in Arlington County having the largest per capita tax burden.

(Note: MABE and WABE are one and the same entities.)


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