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More On Value For Your Tax Dollars

We started the week growling about the value that Arlington County taxpayers gave the county government on the recently released 2008 resident satisfaction survey. Specifically, we wondered if citizen satisfaction would have been as high if they had known that Arlington County government is significantly less efficient than local government in Fairfax government?

Specifically, we noted that Arlington County’s local government had increased from 17.9  to 18.5 per 1,000 residents, or 3.4%, from 2000 to 2008. That’s nothing, however, when compared to the Arlington Public Schools (APS) where employment per 1,000 students has increased from 155.6 in 2000 to 179.2 in 2008, according to the ‘fiscal indicators’ in the county’s FY 2009 Adopted Budget. Although the increase occurred a little each year, that’s a whopping increase of 15.2% in ten years.

For a bit of context, let’s see how surrounding Virginia school districts fare by comparison based upon the number of operating fund positions per 1,000 students. The following data is based upon numbers from the 2008 Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE) Guide for Fiscal Year 2008:

Alexandria          174.3
Arlington            171.5
Fairfax County   133.6
Loudoun              158.3
Prince William    119.3

As we like to say, we report, and you decide whether you’re getting value for your tax dollars.

UPDATE (8/11/08): Minor gramatical correction made in first paragraph. 

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