Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Duval schools spend less on adminstrators than other districts

The report said 77 percent of Duval's operating expenditures are spent at the school level, one of the highest percentages the organization has seen.

"It makes me feel very good that we're minimizing our administrative cost and maximizing our instructional cost," said W.C. Gentry, School Board chairman.

The report also contradicted a frequent criticism of the district: that it's top-heavy with administrators.

Duval spends 6 percent of its pre-K-12 operating dollars on leadership and central operations management, according to the report. In comparison, districts in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta spend 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively, on management.

The report also revealed dramatic differences in the average teacher salary between some schools. For example, the average teacher salary at Andrew Jackson High School is slightly more than $35,000; Fletcher's average teacher salary is about $50,000.

The report on elementary schools also noted that the district's "lowest performing schools in Duval have the lowest performing teachers; the district must work to shift this distribution."

Another key finding was that Duval is spending almost $3,000 more per student in 17 of its smallest elementary schools than in 11 of its largest elementary schools.

ERS will produce a total of six reports, including looking at middle schools, high schools and human capital. The audit is costing the district $550,000, with the Jacksonville Public Education Fund kicking in $100,000 and raising an additional $100,000.

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