Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easton School District Budget

The Easton school district is in a financial mess.  The school board is considering terrible options like a tax increase of more than 10 percent or layoffs totaling more than 10 percent of the teaching staff.  This post collects a few sources of information about the budget.  (Let me know if you have more links.)
The Morning Call wrote a good summary of the last school board meeting: Ax falls on Easton schools.

The school district public finance page includes the proposed budget for 2010-2011 and the budgets from the last two years.  The auditor's report from 2009 is also posted there.  (All documents there are pdfs.)  I'm not sure how useful the auditor's report is.  There is this gem from the financial highlights on page 4:
The District's overall financial position as of June 30, 2009 continued to be very strong.
As of June 30, 2010, not so much.

The salaries of all Pennsylvania public school employees in 2009 are available.  I took a quick look at the numbers.  It seems like Easton and Nazareth have similar salaries.  Parkland clearly pays better.

School Matters (Easton) has some basic data about the schools, like enrollment and students per teacher.  Overall, the numbers seem to add up to 9,160 students.    Students per teacher ranges from 12.6 at March Elementary to 20.6 at Tracy Elementary.  Unfortunately, the data here is from 2006.  It's district financial summary says the district instructional expenses are a bit under the state average, but capital expenditures  are more than five times the state average.  (Where can we find more recent numbers?)