2016 Statistics for McHenry County Schools – Spending per Pupil & per Classroom

Yesterday we looked at demographic information about McHenry County school districts.

Today, with the help of a Friend of McHenry County Blog, we shall explore information on how the money is spent.

Two statistics are shown below:

  • Expenditures per pupil excluding capital expenditures.  Consider these daily operating expenses.
  • Expenditures per classroom
McHenry County School Districts 2016
Expenditures per Pupil and per Classroom
DISTRICT Expenditures per Pupil without CapEx Expenditures per Classroom
Nippersink Grade Sch 2 $12,662 $243,110
Fox River Grove Grade Sch 3 15,271 328,323
McHenry Grade Sch 15 14,282 311,348
Riley Grade Sch 18 11,231 199,920
Cary Grade Sch 26 11,279 262,796
Harrison Grade Sch 36 14,051 272,586
Prairie Grove Grade Sch 46 16,483 285,151
Crystal Lake Grade Sch 47 11,877 235,171
Marengo-Union Grade Sch 165 9,591 217,711
Marengo High Sch 154 19,238 346,288
Crystal Lake High Sch 155 15,282 299,529
McHenry High Sch 156 14,704 291,142
Richmond-Burton High Sch 157 18,400 373,518
Johnsburg Unit Dist 12 14,108 310,371
Alden Hebron Unit Dist 19 13,865 173,310
Harvard Unit Dist 50 14,027 256,688
Huntley Unit Dist 158 10,670 250,751
Woodstock Unit Dist 200 13,468 289,570
Algonquin Unit Dist 300 16,571 389,422
State Average $13,918 $256,014
Chicago $15,100 $274,811

Schools in McHenry County spend from $9,591 per student at the Marengo-Union Grade School District to $19,238 at Marengo High School.

Looking at what is spent in operating money on a per classroom basis, the highest is $389,422 at Algonquin’s District 300, while the lowest is $199,920 at Riley Grade School.

Some might ask themselves if they could educate children if they had that much money to teach 20-some students.


2016 Statistics for McHenry County Schools – Spending per Pupil & per Classroom — 11 Comments

  1. What is the money being spent for? Would be interesting to see all the details for each school

    district that add up to the total “Classroom” amount, right down to the penny?

    What portion of each Classroom amount is for “administrators”, “administration”. How much for

    electricity, heat, air conditioning, janitorial, teacher salaries, teacher benefits, etc?

  2. Cal did you ever ask Marian Central what they spend. Tuition there per child is about $5,500. There is no government payout.

    It would also be interesting to see a comparison on Act scores as well.

  3. If you’re trying to look at expense efficiency, you probably also need to back out any debt service expense that are reflected in these numbers. Those numbers can range from zero to over $10 million for the districts on this list.

    You may want to look at the Operating Expense Per Pupil table that ISBE has already created here: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Operating-Expense-Per-Pupil.aspx

    I’m not a big fan of the State’s definition of OEPP, (it includes interest expense and uses attendance figures not enrollment numbers).

    The other set of numbers in the State’s spreadsheet that ties into your comment regarding teaching 20-something students is the Per Capita Tuition Charge (PCTC). This is the number that forms the basis for any charter school’s claim on a district’s revenue if a charter school were to be approved to operate within a district. In other words, if a charter school were to open, the starting point to receive funds from the local district is 100% of the PCTC.

    Once a district’s PCTC becomes too high, especially for a larger district, it becomes a potentially lucrative proposition for a charter school operator to consider setting up shop within that district.

    Of course the consequences for the children remaining in the school district will suffer the consequences of a substantially de-leveraged operation.

  4. I would include both interest expense and principal repayment. Not including them is like leaving your mortgage payment out of your budget.

  5. Agree with SW.
    PCTC is the baseline for what one school may charge for tuition students from another district.
    Because PCTC does NOT include certain costs like ‘mortgage payment’ on school facilities, the host district’s taxpayers must pay these costs on behalf of the students attending from other districts.

    In Woodstock D200, between $600,000-$1,000,000 ADDITIONAL PER YEAR is being spent on such students at Clay Academy.
    Clay Academy enrollment, at last available information, was 85% out-of-district tuition students to 15% D200 students (59 from other districts).
    Tuition prices are specifically defined by IL law, and these students are paying about $30,000 per year tuition.
    If D200 taxpayers were allowed to sell Clay to Allendale or another competitor, or to turn it into a charter school run by concerned parents, we could save at least $300,000 per year
    ($600,000-$1,000,000 overpayment to keep Clay open, largely for benefit of other districts’ discount tuition—and of course many D200 lucrative teaching jobs)
    (Instead, D200 Clay students paying $30,000 x 11 students = $330,000 tuition would be the new cost to D200 taxpayers).

  6. I thought that the intent of this analysis was to compare districts on what it costs to run operations on a day-to-day basis.

    That’s why one should stick to the Operating Funds only and exclude CapEx and Debt Service. Otherwise you end up comparing apples to oranges.

  7. Susan, I would recommend that you FOIA D200 to request a list of the different tuition rates charged to outside districts for the many different special education programs D200 runs.

    For FY17, D200 received $3.8 million in tuition revenue from outside districts.

  8. sorry if you think I got off track, but I wanted to compare and contrast OEPP and PCTC, and show real life examples of the harm done by such tortured quantification of expenses-sans-‘mortgage payments’

  9. I know form Facility Review Committee data presented by Moan and Hanson that $1.8 tuition came to Clay from 59 students (11 more were from D200; Clay building is capacity 300 housing at most 70 recently—up from 40 past decade).

    The other $2 mil is for, in large part, special ed tuition students getting a discount on actual costs.

    Clay building capex for life &safety, factoring 2010 l&s bond $10.5 million and 2017 $2.2 capex budgeted indicate ~$300,000 annual expenditure to keep Clay building “compliant” for specific use as Spec. Ed for 59 tuition students and 11 D200 students.
    Add to that (non-allowed tuition) cost THESE costs not allowed to be included intuition charges:
    1.exterior maintenance ($2 million for 12 buildings. you figure the math)

    2. liability. for teachers, employees, students, at a special ed facility REQUIRED (according to Facility Review Committee) to maintain a building separated from general student population.

    3. OPEB. There are 35-or so employees who may receive OPEB valued at (present value, but rising 5% annually by contract) at least $6600 per year.
    These entitlements can last 12 years each.
    New employees accrue new, separate entitlements.

    4. UNfunded pension liabilities.

    5. Administrative (at a district level) time and attention.

  10. If you want to:

    “compare districts on what it costs to run operations on a day-to-day basis.”

    you should want to allow for the details of districts serving as your subsidizers… because those districts will soon collapse under the burden of subsidizing districts like yours, who are financially responsible and not more interested in maintraining lucrative jobs creation than taxpayers and their children.

  11. Here is the reasoning to include debt service (principal plus interest) but not CapEx.

    As a fundamental principle of good governance, borrowing to build and own should only be undertaken if it is cheaper than leasing. If leasing would be be recorded as an annual operating expense, then the total annual cost of owning a building should be included as an annual operating expense. In the case of a building, that means amortizing the cost over its life.

    However, under GAAFR, CapEx is recorded in the year it is spent and the asset is not depreciated.

    As a result, CapEx from borrowed funds can significantly skew apparent costs in any given year.

    Now, if debt service on bonds sold to finance the CapEx is reasonably related to the life of the CapEx improvements, then debt service (principal plus interest) is not only a good proxy for the annual cost, it is the REAL annual cost to the taxpayers. Leaving it out creates opportunities to game the system and can substantially understate the actual annual cost of education to the taxpayers.

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