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More on the Cost of Arlington's Public Schools

Last month (December 7 and December 10), we growled that the cost-per-student of the Arlington Public Schools ($19,538 for FY 2009) is the highest in the Washington region. It was followed by Alexandria ($19,078), Falls Church ($18,311), Montgomery County ($15,252), and Fairfax County ($13,340) with Prince William County lowest at $10,7760.

There are obviously numerous factors, which result in Arlington’s $19,538 cost-per-student. Let’s look at just one of them today -- students per teacher. The Washington Area Boards of Education (WABE) Guide, available at the Arlington Public Schools website, provides data for four levels (kindergarten, elementary, middle/intermediate, and secondary/high):

  • Kindergarten. Approved staffing for the Arlington schools is 22.00 students per teacher. The other school districts ranged from Montgomery County at 18.60 to Fairfax County at 25.75.
  • Elementary. Arlington’s staffing is 20.00 (Grade 1), 22.00 (Grade 2-3), and 24.00 (Grades 4-5). The others ranged from 20.00 (Alexandria and Falls Church) to 25.75 for Fairfax County.
  • Middle/Intermediate. Arlington’s approved staffing is 22.40. Others ranged from 22.00 for Falls Church to Prince George’s County at 30.00.
  • Secondary/High School. Arlington’s approved staffing is 23.40. Other Washington area school districts ranged from 20.39 in Prince George’s County to 29.00 in Fairfax County.

For a more complete analysis, see our upcoming newsletter, The ACTA Watchdog, or click-on the link above for the WABE Guide. Better yet, join ACTA and receive the newsletter electronically or through regular mail,


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