Yellow Brick Road: Pinellas falls in the middle on classroom spending
Pinellas might spend more than most of the other big districts on general administration. But its own analysis shows that when it comes to in-the-classroom spending, its numbers fall in the mid-range.
Among the 12 biggest districts in 2008-09, Pinellas ranked at either No. 5 or No. 6 on “direct instruction,” according to its latest “Yellow Brick Road” report, which was posted yesterday. The numbers are taken from other districts’ annual financial reports, so it’s based on what other districts say about themselves.
Pinellas spent 62.78 percent of its general and special revenue funds on direct instruction last year, the report says. That’s not as good as No. 1 Polk at 64.41 percent, but it’s better than No. 12 Orange at 59.65 percent.
Hillsborough (No. 9) spent 61.83 percent. Pasco (No. 10) spent 61.35 percent.
For accounting purposes, the districts are supposed to follow the state’s definition of instruction, which you can find here, in Chapter 4, page 11. It says in part: “Instruction includes the activities dealing directly with the teaching of pupils, or the interaction between teacher and pupils. … Included here are the activities of aides or assistants of any type which assist in the instructional process.”
For what it’s worth, different definitions of classroom spending – like this one by the U.S. Census Bureau - have resulted in different rankings for Pinellas and everybody else.
(Image from www.heightsarts.org)