Sunday, July 12, 2015

Using math like this, how many more schools should close?

Still shaking my head at the superintendent’s analysis I quoted here. By using district-wide average costs, instead of the actual cost of running Hoover, and by pretending that relocating over three hundred students won’t cause any increase at all in non-teaching expenses at their new buildings, the superintendent concluded that it would cost $675,000 annually to keep Hoover open. The real figure is probably much closer to $200,000. (I say “probably” because I live in a district where information often has to be pieced together imperfectly by bloggers or on Facebook, rather than provided with any accuracy or transparency by our paid administrators.)

By substituting the average cost for the actual cost, the administration not only inflates the cost of running Hoover, it also understates the cost of running the new, much bigger schools that it has already committed itself to building. In my view, there’s no looking back on opening the new elementaries; the district should open them at less-than-full capacity and allow them to grow as neighborhoods are built around them. But the administration should be candid about how much it’s going to cost to run those schools.

Given the superintendent’s math, it’s little wonder that the administration keeps talking about closing more schools. Two great questions for school board candidates: Do you agree with the superintendent that we can save $675,000 annually by closing a school? If we can reap that kind of savings by closing schools, how many more schools should close?


pooter said...

Perhaps Murley was a victim of "new math."

Chris said...

Pooter -- Ha, that kind of math has probably been around for as long as there have been bureaucrats.

Mary Murphy said...

IMO, our kids and the proposed closures of schools deserve more than to be reduced to dollars and cents. However, if kids and school closings are going to be reduced to dollars and cents, the information upon which decisions are made should be accurate and any assumptions reasonable so that pro forma financials make sense and are so transparent that they can easily be understood by practically everyone. Murleynomics doesn't cut it here.

townie said...

I really don't see how Lincoln will remain open with the new Grant opens. Half of the Lincoln population lives near Grant.