The PEER Committee issued a report last week that stated Mississippi spent more money on administrators and contractors but less money on instruction since 2005. In other words, the generals took care of themselves while the troops suffered on the battlefield for lack of support.
PEER made the following observations:
*Overall, Mississippi’s public school districts increased spending in all major budget
categories over the ten-year period except for the Instructional category.
*With the exception of the Instructional category, the major budget categories all experienced spending increases from FY 2005 through FY 2014, from approximately 4% in Food Services to approximately 24% in Plant Operations. Total expenditures in the Instructional category decreased by approximately 3.2% during this period.
Teachers? Who needs teachers? Check out this fact:
*Salaries of teachers and other professional personnel declined by approximately $130 million.
However, don't worry because the bosses are going to take care of themselves like, well, a boss:
*Administration: Salaries of professional personnel increased by approximately $15 million.
Then there is athletics. We got to have us some football, by damn.
*Other Programs: Spending for athletics increased by approximately $20.6 million. When combined with other changes in this category, the result was a net increase of approximately $13.7 million.
Students? Remember the students? It seems school districts spent more money on everything else BUT the students:
*At the level of expenditures per student, total expenditures per student increased from $8,714 in FY 2005 to $9,196 in FY 2014. With the exception of the Instructional category,
expenditures per student increased in all categories from FY 2005 to FY 2014. In the Instructional category, expenditures per student decreased from $4,969 in FY 2005 to $4,890 in FY 2014.....
Overall, school districts’ spending in the Instructional category declined by approximately 3.2% over the ten-year period. Spending in the Administration category increased by approximately 13% during the same period.
From FY 2005 through FY 2014, total expenditures in the Instructional category declined by approximately $75 million, or approximately 3.2%. During the same period, total expenditures in the Administration category increased by approximately $57 million, or approximately 13%.
That was for a ten-year period. The five-year snapshot provided a worse picture:
*total expenditures declined by approximately $295 million.
From FY 2009 to FY 2014, total expenditures by public school districts declined by approximately $295 million. Changes during this time in the seven major budget categories were:
-Instructional--$288 million decrease
-Administration--$2 million increase
-Plant Operation--$4 million decrease
-Food Services--$11 million decrease
-Transportation--$9 million increase
-Student Support--$6 million decrease
-Other Programs--$3 million increase
Can't cut the bosses pay, can we? Here is another nugget:
*In FY 2005, expenditures for instruction represented approximately 57% of that fiscal year’s total expenditures; in FY 2014, expenditures for instruction as a percentage of total fiscal year expenditures represented approximately 53%.
Then there is spending per student. It seems spending per student went up by nearly $2,000 per student in ten years BUT actual instructional spending per student did not change at all. Ouch. But its all about the children. Wrong. Its all about the chiefs and their contractor friends.
Speaking of students, the report says Mississippi is spending more money than ever on public schools but the number of public schools has fallen by nearly 8,000 students since 2005. Mississippi had 463,816 students in 2005 but fell to 456,022 students.
Consultants. Did someone say consultants? PEER took note of the consultants and "technical services".
*purchases of professional and technical services increased in all seven major budget categories by approximately $41 million....
The increased level of expenditures for professional and technical services indicates that over the ten-year period of review, school districts have increasingly used the services of outside individuals and companies in the areas of:
-support of policymaking and managerial activities of the school district;-services such as curriculum improvement, counseling and guidance, library and media support, and contracted instructional services
- professional services from medical doctors, lawyers, architects, auditors, accountants, therapists, audiologists, dieticians, and system analysts...
There is no mention of the Jim Keith welfare fund.
The school districts also hired more administrators than teachers over the ten year period: 627 to 488. PEER also states the teacher salaries were walloped by inflation:
*PEER compared the number of classroom teachers in FY 2005 to FY 2014 and found that the number of classroom FTE teachers increased by 488 during the ten-year period. Given that the number of classroom teachers increased slightly during the ten-year period, the decline in inflation-adjusted salaries indicates that salaries in this category did not keep pace with inflation. PEER notes that teachers received a $1,500 raise in FY 2015 and an additional $1,000 raise in FY 2016.....
*Typically, the Legislature dedicates more than half of available general fund revenue to
the funding of all educational activities. Federal and local financial resources supplement the amounts provided to school districts annually by the Legislature.
*Overall, school districts increased spending in all major budget categories over the ten-year period except for the Instructional category.
*Overall, school districts increased total expenditures per student in all major budgetcategories over the ten-year period except for the Instructional category.
Teachers get less and the perfumed princes get more. Anyone surprised?
Got to love the REMF's.