How much does Hawaii really spend with education?

Civil Beat asked the Department of Education to make a general ledger to the Hawaii Institute of Education in editing on 12 June, “Where's The Money, DOE? Time to Turn to Public Financial Records. ”NOTE: select the correct link

However, DE's “financial records” will not answer the questions relating to how much is spent on public education or what is spent in each school.


For “what is spent on public education”: t

1) On the one hand, the commonly cited figure of $ 1.9 billion of general funds appropriated to the DOE leaves some general state fund expenditure which would bring public education general public education expenditure closer to $ 3 if properly allocated to the public. DOE. billion. There are only two examples:

a) Transferable marginal benefits for the DOE budgeted in the Budget and Finance Department. The marginal cost (employer's share of Social Security taxes, medical insurance, future pension payments, etc.) is regular full-time employees of approximately 60% of salaries.

b) A debt service on general obligation bonds, on which the proceeds of the DOE facilities were spent. Debt service on G.O. Budgets are budgeted in R&D. It is a cost of public education.

2) On the other hand, if the full 60% of the marginal costs of salaries were allocated to the DOE, it would mitigate the current cost of public education. Part of the 60% is the current cost of keeping up with the underfunding of public retirement costs. This cost is not current running costs for current employees. It is a cost that should have been incurred in previous years.

This cost does not increase in full if more employees are added to the public payroll, and does not reduce if public payroll reduces. It should be a separate line item in the state budget and should not be attributed to individual employees or individual state departments.

Hawaii Department of Education Building. The author says that there are many variables in the DOE's budget.

Civil blow

For “what is spent by each school”:

3) The DOE allocates dollars to schools using a weighted student formula based on the number and characteristics of their students (English learners, low income, transient, etc.). Principals decide how many teachers, librarian, counselor, office staff, deputy principals, etc. to “buy” with its student formula weighting allocation. The average “cost” for each teacher in school is the average for each teacher.

If the teacher's average salary is $ 59,000, then each teacher costs the principal $ 59,000, regardless of whether the teacher is a 30-year veteran with a salary of $ 75,000 or a new out-of-college rent that he has not competed on a paid teacher training program. $ 36,000. If the actual cost of an individual school is the actual salary of their teachers, or the average salary of all teachers?

4) Utility costs are funded and paid centrally by the DOE. These costs are in the interests of students, so should they not be distributed to schools? Should schools on Molokai or Lanai or Kauai be charged electricity at an average uniform rate of stage kilowatts, or on the actual actual rate of electricity on these islands? Some schools are under-occupied by state staff and / or district level. Should some of the electricity in these schools be returned to the state or the district office? What basis should such a distribution be made?

5) The following costs are budgeted and paid centrally, and costs per student in each category of cost vary considerably according to school. How should they be distributed to individual schools?

  • Student transport costs.
  • Cost of meals served on students.
  • Cost of services for pupils with special needs. These costs include class teachers, special school bus services, a range of special services such as speech therapy, and tuition in private schools for certain students. The percentage of pupils with special needs at individual schools is less than 5% to more than 20%.
  • The cost of repairing and maintaining school facilities.

This is not an exhaustive list of educational expenses which have a central budget and which should be allocated to schools.

Concerns about Financial Applications

There are two aspects of the Hawaii Institute of Education's application to the DOE ledger.

Firstly, it is important to find a common understanding of the appropriate costs and costs at school level, due to almost non-school costs by definition, they are generally an unfavorable term. If the costs described in No. 3-5 above (incomplete list of such costs) as “overheads,” the general public (and possibly DOE school level personnel, education board members, and legislators) will also spend a lot on overheads and not t enough for students.

Diving is included in the DOE's general ledger without understanding how the numbers in it should be seen as a recipe for misunderstanding and disagreement rather than the transparency sought by EIH and others appropriately.

Secondly, the DOE affirms that it is developing the type of detailed cost per school data required by the EIH. If the EIH develops its own figures, it is unlikely that they will look the same as those developed by the DOE, as the DOE and EIH are unlikely to use the same allocation criteria.

It will result in two different sets of data, which in turn arise between the DOE and the EIH and confusion by the general public that it will not be helpful to access data accepted by EIH at school level.

Would it not be better if the DOE and the EIH could get a common understanding of how costs should be determined, and then how the costs should be allocated, before EIH tries to develop this data alone from a general ledger. ?

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