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Most Expensive Schools In Washington, DC Suburbs

The new numbers are out from the Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE), and the Arlington Public Schools (APS) has jumped ahead of Alexandria as the most expensive school district in the Washington, D.C. suburbs when compared on a cost-per-student basis. Here are the numbers:

School Division        FY 2009        FY 2008            Increase
Arlington County        $19,538        $18,563            5.25%
Alexandria                $19,078        $19,341           -1.36%
Falls Church              $18,311        $18,474           -0.88%
Montgomery              $15,252        $14,705            3.72%
Fairfax County           $13,340        $13,407           -0.50%
Manassas City            $13,105        $12,067            8.60%
Loudoun                   $12,780        $12,751            0.23%
Prince George’s          $12,517        $12,107            3.39%
Prince William            $10,776        $10,429            3.33%

The FY 2009 “WABE Guide” as the report is called, is available at the Fairfax County Public Schools’ website; as of this evening, the report is not available on the APS website. ACTA members will find a more complete comparison in the next edition of The ACTA Watchdog, which will be the last issue of 2008. (See 12/11/08 "update" below)

Here’s a question for your favorite school board member: For APS, the report shows 19,094 students. Multiply that by the difference between the cost-per-student at APS and the cost-per-student at the Fairfax County Public Schools ($$19,538 less $$13,340 or $6,198). The product is just over $118 million. The question for the school board, therefore, is what are the benefits to Arlington's public school students from spending over $118 million more that it would a like number of students in Fairfax County? Taxpayers would like to know.

UPDATE (12/11/08): The FY 2009 WABE report was added to the APS website on 12/9/08 at 6:09 PM.


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