If you ask how much the state spends, or how much a district spends, you will get an answer that is technically correct; but it will not include all the money being spent on our children.
An operating revenue budget shows a truer picture of resources per student, especially in comparisons to other states.
In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics uses only operating revenue budgets.
The OSBA is correct that money should not be double-counted.
However, the claim that construction debt should be ignored is dubious.
No other question in public education seems to start an argument more than this one.
It shouldn’t be so hard for taxpayers to get an answer to this question. One reason is that school groups tend to see spending from an “inside” perspective, rather than from a taxpayer’s perspective.
From the inside, it matters whether the money comes from the state, the feds, the local Educational Service District or local property taxes.
There are different pots of money and they pay for different things.
Most education insiders hear “spending,” and they immediately think about their own particular budget.
From a taxpayer’s perspective, none of this matters, since all the money comes from them.
They just want to know how much tax money public schools spend to educate the kids.