Budget Talk: How does the district office spend its money?
Student-based budgeting empowers principals and gives schools direct control over more than half of the district's $810 million operating budget to personalize learning and give every student a great public education.
But what about the rest of the money that's left in the budget? Schools are not responsible for paying for everything that supports students in their buildings. Many services, like transportation, security, textbooks and others, are more efficient when funded and supplied centrally.
Once you take out the money that goes directly to schools, there’s about $356 million left. Of that, $73 million goes directly to charter schools, which, based on state law, receive the full funding we spend on average per student for each student they serve.
Another $9 million in revenue flows back to the city and state. And the remaining $274 million pays for centralized services for schools like buses, maintenance and technology. That $274 million may seem like a lot, but it covers a lot of ground.
The biggest piece – by far – pays for school bus transportation – more than $35 million. Another $31 million pays for electric bills, water bills and other utilities. Over $20 million is spent on custodial and grounds to keep school buildings clean. And another $18 million is spent on maintenance – things like air conditioning and roof repairs.
The rest goes to important services that benefit students, like technology , academic supports, substitute teachers, music education, advanced academics and a whole lot more. Even things that don’t go directly to students – like pension and benefits for teachers – are still there for their benefit.
Watch this video to learn how the district centralizes services for schools so principals can focus on what is most important: providing a great education for every student.