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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Spending at the top: How Florida's school district rate in administrative costs

With budget cuts an annual event, Florida school district leaders feel the pressure to keep costs lean, particularly when it comes to expenses that aren't directly related to students and learning.

Administrative spending often becomes the target.

A new report by the Florida Department of Education might help. It shows how much each district spent per unweighted full-time equivalent student on administration at the district and school levels combined, broken down by general, special revenue and ARRA spending.

One big change: Hernando County can no longer claim to spend the least per student in general operations. At $404.86 in the 2009-10 report, Hernando's expenses rose to $476.89 in 2010-11. That puts Hernando in ninth of the state's 67 counties, well behind leader Orange County at $441.88, which also was up from $422.61.

But Hernando still looks good in comparison to the other Tampa Bay area districts. Pasco rated 13th with $487.42 per student, up from $459.84 a year earlier. Pinellas came in just behind Pasco at 14th with $488.13 per student, down from $494.25 a year earlier. And Hillsborough logged in at 18th with $512.18 per student, up from $492.48.

Notably, these changes in administrative costs occurred at the same time that enrollments declined in many districts. The biggest local drop came in Pinellas, which also had the only decrease in costs.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 9:21am]

    

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