Guest contribution by Arthur Green
The 2013/14 Timberlane budget was advertised as a modest 3.2% increase compared to the previous year. This spin ignored the fact that enrollment was decreasing at the same time. From 2012/13 to 2013/14, enrollment dropped about 150 students, or -3.6%. (4,072 to 3,924)
We have pointed out that this will affect per-pupil costs. Timberlane likes to say that its per-pupil cost is $13,329, which is below the state average of $13,459. However, these figures are 2 years old.. and there have been 2 years of substantial budget increases in Timeberlane since then.
We have been forecasting that the per-pupil cost for 2013/14 at Timberlane would be $14,233. Now the district has reported its official per-pupil cost to the NH Department of Education, and it turns out our forecast was too cautious. The district’s number is $14,414, an 8.1% increase in a single year. (This information is from the MS-25 form submitted to the Department of Education and recently posted on the Timberlane Budget Committee website.)
The NH DOE will not publish its statewide 2013/14 per-pupil cost average for several months, so Timberlane will be able to continue to advertise the outdated $13,329 (as it does in the district Report Card) on the grounds that the statewide comparison point is not yet available.
Residents and taxpayers should keep in mind that as enrollment declines, even a flat budget means more resources available for the smaller student body, and more money spent per pupil.
3 responses to “Per Pupil Costs Rocket!”
Wow! Your school district is truly out of control!
The Districts claim of the “cost to educate a child at Timberlane” actually comes from a state funding formula that OMITS approximately 30% of the budget. It omits buildings and grounds, most support staff, transportation, etc.
I thought Superintendent Metzler stated at the last SB meeting enrollment had increased. Enrollment is actually down 148 students compared to 2013 and Sandown is down (not up as he said) 38 students.
Note that is counting pre-school and FT K which according to the superintendent is a revenue producer. I remember being told during a BudCom meeting: If we were to remove the FT K program the budget would be $100,000.00 more due to the revenue the programs brings in. I am looking forward to the administration/department head providing FT K budget including revenue and how it is costing the taxpayer nothing.