by: Chris Six, Ozarks First
A new report released by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) details how much each school district in the state spends per student.
Public Information Officer for Nixa Schools Zac Rantz says the new data has taken three years to collect.
“The idea behind the report is that all school districts across the state are using the same coding system, it’s something they’ve been implementing for the past three years,” says Rantz.
This new method allows people to compare school to school on where the money the school uses is going.
“In the past, schools could code things differently.”
When Zac talks about coding, he means that say the school district in Springfield has to buy a box of pencils. Now the Nixa school district also has to buy a box of pencils. Even though they are different school districts, the code is the same for the pencil. Rantz says this coding system has been implemented across the whole state.
“One thing that we want people to know is that you can’t maybe compare one school to another. No school is going to be exactly the same.”
Rantz says factors like teacher pay, special programs, sports, and construction can vary the prices on specific schools.
Rantz says an excellent way to observe the data is to see how the spending is divided up in the district for the students.
“We’re really trying to make sure that we’re spending the same across the district as much as possible for all of our students because they all deserve equal treatment and equal chance,” says Rantz.
Rantz encourages parents and community members to contact the school district if you see something that is weird or if you don’t understand the data.
To see School Districts around the state including those in the Lakes Region and specific schools in those districts, click here.