New Report Highlights Spending On School Administration

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Offices of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has found that school districts with higher rates of administrative spending are more likely to be very small or very large districts, and to be municipal or special school districts rather than county districts. 

Based on spending data from the 2012-13 school year, school districts in Tennessee spent 10.5 percent of their day-to-day expenditures (not including capital or debt service spending) on administration, which includes local school boards, central district offices including the directors of schools, and principal offices at each school. Tennessee administrative spending has increased over the past five years in relation to total spending (from 9.8 percent to 10.5 percent), but was below administrative spending rates for school districts in the Southeast and across the nation. The majority of districts’ administrative spending (57 percent) is at the school level for expenditures in the principals’ offices. 

Individual district expenditures on administration ranged from between 6 and 17 percent of total current spending. About one-fourth of districts (33) spent more than the statewide rate of 10.5 percent on administration in 2012-13. 

Seventy percent of these higher administrative spending districts are city or special school districts, which tend to be smaller than county districts and are likely to have additional sources of local tax revenue.

About two-thirds of the higher-spending districts fall into the bottom fifth or the top fifth of districts ranked by enrollment size.

Seventy percent of the higher spending districts had central office administrator-to-student ratios above the statewide median of 4.4 administrators per 1,000 students enrolled. 

The report did not analyze the cost-effectiveness of districts’ spending, where district or school outcomes--like student academic achievement and graduation rates--would be compared in relation to administrative expenditures. Without further analysis of such outcomes, identification of above-average administrative spending by itself cannot be evaluated as appropriate or inappropriate.

OREA is an agency within the Comptroller’s Office that is charged with providing accurate and objective policy research and analysis for the Tennessee General Assembly and the public.

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800/232-4343. For more information, contact John Dunn, Public Information Officer, at 615/401-7755 or john.dunn@cot.tn.gov.


Recognition To Be Held For Cleveland BOE And City Council At Raider Arena On Monday

Cleveland City Schools will honor the Cleveland Board of Education and City Council on Monday at 7:15 p.m. in Raider Arena. The undefeated Raiders host the Alcoa Tornadoes starting at 7:30 pm. The Lady Raiders tip off at 6 p.m. Board members and Councilmen will be recognized between games. Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer, Cleveland High School Principal Autumn O’Bryan, ... (click for more)

Arnold Singers Spread Christmas Cheer At Lee

Lee University welcomed carolers from Arnold Elementary School choir on Tuesday as part of the B.E.S.T. Partners program. The elementary students performed Christmas carols in the Deacon Jones Dining Hall during the Lee student, staff and faculty lunch break. Lunch was provided for the elementary students, courtesy of Sodexo Dining Services. The B. E. S. T. program is ... (click for more)

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Drive-by Shooting On North Germantown Road Friday Afternoon

A person was shot early Friday afternoon on North Germantown Road.  The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 1:45 p.m. to the 700 block of North Germantown Road on a person shot.   The victim was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound, and  was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS.   The victim was shot from a suspect ... (click for more)

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)