Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Tale of Two School Districts

 The Southern Poverty Law Center charged that the state favors white school districts such as Desoto County over black school districts such as Jackson Public Schools when funding education.  However, the lawsuit was long on rhetoric about discrimination and short of any analysis of the actual finances of each district.  A short comparison of the two districts is posted below.  JJ dug through the audits that are submitted to the State Auditor each year in an attempt to do Will Bardwell's homework for him. The audits reveal that Jackson spends nearly $2,000 per student than does Desoto despite having 6,111 fewer students Desoto.

Spending per student.

Jackson spends nearly $2,000 more per student than does Desoto.  Desoto has 6,111 more students than Jackson.  The two districts were virtually dead even in 2009 with a difference of only 212 students as Desoto had 30,411 and Jackson had 30,199 students. The spending per student is found on page 62 in the Desoto and p.72 in the Jackson audits.JJ made a similar comparison in 2009.  Earlier post.

Jackson actually spends more than $1,000 per student on instructional spending but $200 more per student on actual school administration spending.  Jackson is thus putting more money in the classroom and wasting more money on actually running schools.  Administration costs include support staff.   

Number of Students*
Desoto: 33,247
Jackson: 27,136

Desoto is 36% black, 52% white, and 5% Hispanic.
Jackson is 96% black. 

Cost per student
Desoto: $8,407
Jackson: $10,515

Instructional Spending per student
Desoto: $5.051
Jackson: $6,138

General Admin spending per student
Desoto: $343
Jackson: $389

School Admin spending per student
Desoto: $394
Jackson: $584


Jackson raises more money from property taxes to support education than does Desoto County by a difference of nearly $10 million.  Property tax revenue was only $85 million for Jackson in 2009.  It has grown to $92.5 million in 2016 while Desoto increased by $13 million.  Thus Jackson raises more money for its public schools in property taxes despite having over three thousand fewer students than in 2009. However, Desoto receives  $19 million more in state funding than Jackson but it does have over six thousand more students than does Jackson. 

P.16 in Desoto & Jackson Audits

Property Taxes
Desoto: $83 million ($2,500 per student)
Jackson: $92.5 million ($3,400 per student)
Difference: $9.5 million  Jackson

Total Revenue
Desoto:$275.5 million
Jackson: $291.2 million
Difference: $15.7 million Jackson

Total General Revenue
Desoto (p.22): $239 million
Jackson (p.23): $230 million
Difference: $9 million Desoto

State Sources
Desoto (p.25): $156 million
Jackson (p.26): $137 million
Difference: $19 million. Desoto


JPS spent $56 million more than Desoto in 2009 when the student populations were even.  Jackson spent $16 million more than Desoto in 2016 despite having 6,111 fewer students than Desoto.  Desoto had a bigger general fund budget but also spent $8 million more on instruction.  However, Jackson did spend more than Desoto in one category: support services.  Jackson spent $12 million more on support services.  So Jackson spends more money despite having over six thousand fewer students yet spends more on support services and less on teaching.

Jackson is also apparently spending more money on interest than it is on principal on debt service.  Sound financial planning at work. 

Total Expenditures
Desoto: $279 million
Jackson: $285 million
Difference: $16 million Jackson

General Fund Spending
Desoto: $218 million
Jackson: $199 million
Difference: $19 million Desoto

Spending on Instruction
Desoto: $146 million
Jackson: $138 million
Difference: $8 million Desoto

Spending on Support Services
Desoto:  $90 million
Jackson: $102 million
Difference: $12 million Jackson

Debt service (principal)
Desoto: $17.6 million
Jackson: $7.4 million
Difference: $10.2 million Desoto

But watch this:

Debt Service (Interest)
Desoto: $4.5 million
Jackson: $8 million
Difference: $3.5 million Jackson

Pension Expense
Desoto: $48 million
Jackson (p.23): $32 million
Difference: $16 million Desoto

The comparison shows JPS has fewer students yet spends more money per student.  Jackson receives more property tax revenue than does the so-called wealthier Desoto County.  However, Desoto spends more money in the classroom while Jackson wastes more money on "support staff".  Something akin to the Army and the Marines and obviously ignored by the Southern Poverty Law Center.   

*MDE's website reports JPS has 26,948 students and Desoto has 33,537 students as of today. The difference is 6,589 students.


Anonymous said...

This is all my grandmother would say....HOME TRAINING! Kids in JPS have no home training. It's that simple. Guess they have to find someone to sue though.

Anonymous said...

Numbers don't lie!!!

Anonymous said...

Please Kingfish, don't bother them with facts and numbers. This is Mississippi after all and they want us to pretend we are still stuck in the segregation era...hard facts be dammed. There's no money in that though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me why and supporting my decision to come to Madison county some years ago.

Anonymous said...

Using math, facts, evidence and logic is RAYCISS.

To everyone outside the state, it's still 1956 said...

Yeah, so?

This isn't about facts. Don't you know that? It's about raising the spectre of RACISM to extort money from the state and to give power to the plaintiffs (read: Liberals and the ACLU in particular).

That's it, plain and simple. Facts, numbers, proof, and logic be damned!

MLK says said...

The Southern Poverty Law Center is nothing more than a poverty-pimping organization that perpetuates poverty and exploits poor and low income African-Americans. SPLC and their constituents do not value education!

Anonymous said...

Let's go ahead and get it out there: You a RAYSISS for sharing this!
That is all.

Anonymous said...

The SPLC and its "plaintiffs" don't really want to extort money in this case, though they will certainly be seeking their attorneys' fees in the matter. This isn't the same BS that Musgrove pulled a few years ago seeking to have the state pay what it allegedly underfunded in MAEP. This is more pernicious and clever in my opinion. This is seeking a ruling from a federal court placing Mississippi's educational system under the governance of a federal consent decree or injunction, thereby giving SPLC and the federal court (an unelected lifetime appointee) power over the funding and composition of Mississippi's public education system. This is bad juju. My $0.02.

Anonymous said...

Vulture Bardwell doesn't do homework.

Anonymous said...

State funding is 7% higher per student in Jackson than in DeSoto. I realize this is from the MAEP formula, which includes number of students receiving free meals - which after the Obama administration adjustments means 100% of students. But to claim that the state is supporting 'white' schools at the expense of the 'black' ones is ridiculous. SPLC doesn't care since facts only get in their way. Don't know which federal judge catches this case, but lets hope its not C. Reeves.

Anonymous said...

When the economic disparity of the tax bases are measured you will be albe to determine if discrimination has existed. Also before we give kudos to Mr.Fish, is his data consistent with the time frame to be analyzed by this litigation? At the end of the day one of these lawsuits will end up costing the tax payers of today and the future because of the inaction of people in the past. The fact that Mississippi has underfunded it's formula for education will probably be it's undoing.

Anonymous said...

2:37 - The case is assigned to Judge Barbour, not Judge Reeverse. Unless Barbour recuses for some reason, this one is in good hands.

Anonymous said...

The economic disparity of the tax bases? Lets measure -- hmmmm, DeSoto County and Jackson. According to the notes above, Jackson -- with a smaller tax base, has taxed that base more so than DeSoto. To the tune of $10 million. That's not related to the base, but to the millage put on that base.

Underfunding 'its formula' is not the question in this case, or at least shouldn't be. That's the toe-sucker ex-Governor's case. Here any underfunding of whatever the formula happened to be did not discriminate against the 96% bkack district. In fact, it appears to have discriminated against DeSoto County's students who the formula gave 7% per student less money than they did the black district.

Anonymous said...

KF, could you compare Jackson and Clinton numbers?

Anonymous said...

Sooooo let me get this straight, if given the chance you would take away funds from a child’s education? All because he/she was born and raised in Jackson? Man, how heartless can you humans be? That child didn’t ask to be brought up in that environment. All the school districts in the state are underfunded. We’re the last in everything good, and the first in everything bad. Here we are arguing about a district that’s representative of the state. All of this, while other states are laughing. Central Mississippi could be a Gem of The South, because of I-55 and I-20. Let’s encourage each other, and build this state, not tear it down.

Anonymous said...

4:36, money is not being taken from the poor chil'ren of JPS. More money is spent per child in the JPS District in comparison to other school districts.

Anonymous said...

@4:36...DAFAQ? Gem of the South?

Anonymous said...

Is Desoto SD an A-rated district? Jackson F-rated?

Anonymous said...

4:36, who is suggesting taking away funds from a child's education? All I see here is a comparison of all the money that is being provided by people like me that have no children in the education system, but provide our tax dollars to support it. All I see here is noting how much the state spends in the various districts AND that those brought up in the poor environment are getting a larger percentage of those funds. As, I believe, is appropriate. As, as mentioned above, is how the MAEP formula is devised. There is no argument made here that those funds should be reduced, except that the SPLC is arguing that the current method is discriminatory against those receiving the larger amounts. That, I believe, is a ridiculous argument given the actual facts.

Anonymous said...

I shudder and weep knowing that the State of Mississippi is STILL DESCRIMINATING against people of color. The leaders of this state
think that no one can do anything about it but the lawsuit will shine
a light on there misdeeds and they will scatter like the cockroaches they
are. They still wear white sheets under their 5,000 dollar suits.

Anonymous said...

4:48PM Hello Ma’am or Sir, I’m aware of the comparison, but the comments that I’m reading on this post are very disheartening. I’d just rather work it out than point fingers.

4:36PM Yes, Ma’am or Sir. Madison, Hinds, and Rankin counties collectively could be a great place if we all worked together. If you don’t want your surrounding cities or state in general to thrive then more power to you, brother/sister.

4:55PM The comparison implies to the viewers that “Hey Mr./Ms. Taxpayer majority of your dollars are going to this failing district, but look at this successful district which is thriving with less funding. How dare those extra funds be spent on NO HOME TRAINING! chil’ren.” I believe the SPLC argument is ridiculous too, in regards to All the school districts are being withheld the necessary funds to deliver a quality education to the state of Mississippi. Not all the districts are going to be A-rated, but gosh darn it lets stop pointing fingers and make things better for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Try being an upper income taxpayer paying more in property taxes than
the average citizen in Jackson earns and not being able to use the
public schools. You are paying more than anyone else but the leaders of the schools run them in such a manner that they can not prepare my children for high level university. They never file a lawsuit to make me whole now do they.

Anonymous said...

To whoever mentioned Clinton, that would take the cake. CHS class of 2017 had 40 kids with 30 ACT or better. The enrollment is slightly over 50% black. Every bond issue referendum passes by a 90-10 ratio. The citizens support the district at every opportunity. White and black.

Such a comparison would doom the SPLC lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

This is not about educational funding for minorities. Blacks are moving to school districts in suburban areas in Madison and Rankin counties in droves. Desoto, plenty of blacks. Clinton ,Ridgeland....educating plenty of blacks.

It's about these blacks, not those blacks. In other words, who gets paid. Can you say administrators?

Anonymous said...

4:36 said: "We’re the last in everything good, and the first in everything bad. Here we are arguing about a district that’s representative of the state. All of this, while other states are laughing. Central Mississippi could be a Gem of The South, because of I-55 and I-20. Let’s encourage each other, and build this state, not tear it down."

The last time Rankin County tried to work with Jackson the RC officials were accused of a covert attempt to poison and kill the citizenry of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The real issues here are home training, parents that care and qualified teachers; it's not more money! You can throw more money at this boondoggle until the cows come home and it will not improve education one iota in the JPS District.

Anonymous said...

09:16 -- was that last time you suggest when Rankin took Jackson's airport? Or was it when Rankin refused the proposal to form a multi-county board to manage Savannah Street WWTP?

Yes, I know some idiots were against the merger in The Bold New City, but your statement that Rankin "tried to work with Jackson" fails the laugh test.

Wish it had been true - on both sides. But there were many West Rankin 'leaders' that shot down this proposal before the ink dried.

Anonymous said...

5:33, evidently you missed the original post topic. Your Rodney King impersonation doesn't fit the issue of SPLC's lawsuit -- which is exactly against any can't we all get along mentality. It is based on racial accusations and financial satisfaction for the poor and oppressed -- along, of course, with the lawyers who will line up for their share and to fund the SPLC for their next lawsuits.

This, along with their fight against the Charter School programs in Mississippi prove that their interest is not in improving educational opportunities-- its about keeping their non-profit venture viable.

Anonymous said...

The Jurdge will recuse just to get the hell away from this convoluted damned thing. If the comments here are any indication of testimony or claims that might be made at trial, this whole thing is one giant cluster fuck.

Women in big Sunday hats will line the first three rows of the courtroom. Men (in $5000 suits?) will shudder in the hallway. Children will arrive in buses provided by Kenneth Stokes. Jerry Mitchell will be set up in a tent under the oak tree. PT Barnum will be there with a bull-horn. Kingfish will later apologize for the bad camera angle and voice-over noise.

Anonymous said...

just wait you are going to pay for the mistakes of your ma and pa boys and girls...they done wrong and left you with the bill, it's time to pay up!!!

Anonymous said...

10:16 I think it was when Kennuf told the Jackson citizenry to throw bricks at out of town cop cars.

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely straw man you've created KF.

Anonymous said...

In the year of our Lord 1964 LBJ instituted the largest reparations program ever imaginable and it has grown faster and larger than the exponential growth of a state retirees 13th check. When will reparations end? Well, of course the answer is NEVER.

The bad news for those celebrating on the skreet cawnuh is there ain't gonna be no 'trickle down' to you. The payments dry up as soon as they hit the administrative levels and lawyers.

But, keep the faith. Those who design creative reparations programs and lawsuits will not die out any time soon. Liberal law colleges are turning them out every semester. And the way they keep you on the plantation is to keep promising you that your day will come. Your ship will eventually come in. It may be a Jon Boat. Be patient and don't lose your place in line.

Anonymous said...

Let's look at what "support services " are.
They are services for " exceptional children" that are required under the Disabilities Education Improvement Act.
Those services include the following: Assistive Technology Evaluation, Behavioral Intervention Services, Homebound Services, Language /Speech Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy,Psychological, Services and Specialized Medical Care.

In should not be surprising that a district with a higher incidence of poverty has more children born with disabilities.

Money spent on pre-natal care, sex education , birth control services, parenting classes would have been money well spent. Mississippi's leaders have been against those expenditures.

Not forcing women who don't want children/especially children born with severe birth defects might have lessened the numbers of the disabled. But, the notion that these children would be adopted always or always receive needed care from birth to school age seems to have prevailed. Preaching at women seems only to have worked in making them keep unwanted children to avoid social stigma.

I still don't see where the bond funding for new schools and repair of older schools is considered or the source of funds for emergency maintenance. Nor do I see consideration of bringing those schools without adequate instructional tools up to standard once minimal standards were set.

This snapshot only serves to shift the focus to recent years of money spent and away from decades of money not spent. And, it doesn't look at how well our " best" schools actually compete on the national stage nor cause us to wonder why that may be.

Nor has anyone wondered why Mississippi focuses on the ACT and not the SAT like other states. Instead, we get examples of students with high IQs who would excel in any educational environment to make us feel like the educational system is good.

Let's compare Stanford Binet scores between the districts and between schools in the district if we really want to begin to see what is happening.

Kingfish said...

Nice try.

Last Children's First Report that was issued said Desoto had more IEP students than JPS. 14% to 11% if I'm not mistaken. Of course, you've demonstrated through your numerous concepts you don't believe in financial accountability for anyone.

What's funny is that the SPLC sues to weaken discipline in JPS schools and then sues about schools not being safe environments for kids.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for confirming why I came to Madison county.

Anonymous said...

In should not be surprising that a district with a higher incidence of poverty has more children born with disabilities.

Link to the causal proof?

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought...
You know what you pay in State taxes and what percentage goes to education, right? So write that figure down.
Now, every time you buy something make a note of the cost difference in durability and portion and note " new" charges on bills. It will be especially fun to compare future costs with automobiles and appliances when you have to replace them. Utilities costs will be interesting. Entertainment costs , insurance and medical care increases are fun as are some new bank charges, too.
Of course, having kept some record of past expenses is helpful.
And, if you can , like me, put a dollar value on your time spent correcting the mistakes or fixing/replacing shoddy work or workmanship because that money not earned by your work, you will really get those figures up. You can also add time for deleting robo calls ,etc.
Now, write down the number.
Take any increase and see if you can find an explanation for the increase other than profit.
Perhaps, it's not taxes for education that should gall us so but how badly the consumer is gauged these days.

Anonymous said...

Princeton Review:

The SAT and ACT generally test the same types of content. Both ACT and SAT scores are used for college admissions and merit-based scholarships. The biggest differences between the tests are that the ACT has a Science Test, and there’s one SAT Math Section for which you cannot use a calculator. Colleges don't prefer one over the other, so explore both tests to decide which one is right for you.

As for all the JPS students recently congratulated district-wide for scoring a 30 or higher on the ACT, well JJ's Granny troll @ 7:42 AM says 'screw you' upon, in her feeble mind, your lesser accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

June 1, 2017 at 8:45 AM = do you save gas receipts in (highly) unlikely event of having purchased tank of bad gasoline?

Anonymous said...

The problem with JPS is home training!

Anonymous said...

You could throw the whole state budget at the JPS school system and it wouldn't make any difference.

You have to have students who want to learn.........very short supply in JPS.

Anonymous said...

KF, with all due respect, when if comes to disabilities, the costs of support services are driven more by the severity and types of the disabilities than the number of children with disabilities.

And, again, the condition of the building affects the costs even of support services. New schools are handicap friendly and thus less labor intensive.

The environment in which learning takes place is not insignificant. Noise from adjoining classrooms,inadequate lighting, physical discomfort such as being too hot or too cold affects focus so building conditions as a variable should not be ignored.

My point continues to be that these statistics are inadequate measures for comparison or identification of where the waste exists in any school district. Nor do they address systemic problems past or present.

Kingfish said...

Galloway is a nice shiny new school and got an F. As usual, you make more excuses without evidence to back them up. I'm starting to think you just plain don't understand math and finance.

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