Chicago teachers highest paid among nation’s 50 largest school districts

By Illinois Policy Institute on Friday, April 1st, 2016 in Spending 2 Comments

CHICAGO –The Chicago Teachers Union, or CTU, on Feb. 1 rejected Chicago Public Schools’, or CPS’, contract offer, which would have provided salary increases for teachers but required that they contribute fully to their pensions. Given CTU’s rejection of the contract – and the vitriol that CTU officials directed at CPS after the district’s Feb. […]


Pittsburgh administrators rake in big pay, despite below-average student performance

By Steve Gunn on Friday, March 18th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

PITTSBURGH – It seems the Pittsburgh school district has a long-term problem with debt. While many districts around the nation have recovered financially since the Great Recession, Pittsburgh seems plagued with constant budget deficits. In January 2014, for example, the district had an “operating deficit” of about $14 million, after raising property taxes by two […]


Prince George, MD schools get more money, spend big on hotels, restaurants

By Steve Gunn on Monday, March 14th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – In December 2014, the Prince George’s Public School District in Maryland imposed a district-wide “selective” hiring freeze, and announced that all departments would be asked to limit discretionary spending, to deal with anticipated budget problems, according to the Washington Post. This occurred as school district Chief Kevin Mitchell requested an increase […]


Newburgh, NY schools cut teachers while administrators rake in big bucks

By Steve Gunn on Monday, March 14th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Almost a year ago, teachers in the Newburgh, New York school district were angered over an administrative proposal to eliminate 17 teaching assistant positions. Superintendent Roberto Padilla recommended the cuts so the district would have enough money to hire five new kindergarten teachers and decrease class sizes, according to RecordOnline.com “If we’re […]


Denver school workers use district credit cards to pay for speeding tickets, flowers, jewelry, donuts

By Steve Gunn on Friday, March 4th, 2016 in Spending, Uncategorized No Comments

DENVER – Are large school districts capable of effectively monitoring the transactions of hundreds of employees who are issued school credit cards? And if not, should purchasing become a more centralized function, with fewer credit cards issued to staff? The experience of Denver Public Schools seems to suggest that schools can demand accountability from credit […]


Salt Lake City schools hike taxes to pay big salaries, despite lagging academics

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 in Spending No Comments

SALT LAKE CITY – In 2013, critics of the Utah legislature claimed the state was failing to “adequately fund schools.” They were speaking specifically of the Salt Lake City school district, which was apparently in a financial pickle at the time. But the accusation is hard to believe, considering the top end of the school […]


Only 15% of Albany, NY 3rd graders proficient in math — but administrators rake in big bucks anyway

By Steve Gunn on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 in Spending No Comments

ALBANY, NY. – When are people going to get over the notion that more money for public schools equals better instruction for children? And when are school boards going to abandon the idea that the more money they pay administrators, the better the chance for student success? Let’s take a look at the Albany, New […]


Brentwood, NY schools pay big salaries, but only 14% of 3rd graders proficient in English

By Steve Gunn on Monday, February 29th, 2016 in Spending 3 Comments

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. – Here’s an interesting comparison. The Dallas, Texas school district has about 160,000 students and had 211 employees earn at least $100,000 in straight salary in 2014-15. The Seattle, Washington school district has about 50,000 students and had 275 employees reach six figures that year. The San Francisco school district has about 57,000 […]


Montebello, CA administrators rake in big pay while academic performance comes up short

By Steve Gunn on Monday, February 29th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

MONTEBELLO, Calif. – In 2012, California voters approved a massive tax hike to support public schools. Proposition 30, which passed with 55 percent of the vote, increased the state sales tax from 7.25 to 7.5 percent. It also imposed large income tax increases on wealthier Californians. Taxes were increased 10.3 percent on those making between […]


Wasteful spending in high-poverty schools compounds problems

By Steve Gunn on Friday, February 26th, 2016 in Spending, Uncategorized No Comments

WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.C. – It’s difficult enough to provide effective instruction for K-12 students from poor neighborhoods. Too many come from homes where education is not valued or respected, or where substandard living conditions prevent children from focusing the necessary attention on their studies. That situation is only made worse when officials in school districts […]


1,194 San Bernardino school workers made $100,000+, despite poor student achievement

By Steve Gunn on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 in Spending 1 Comment

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Everyone knows that California is a wonderland for Big Labor. Nowhere is that more painfully obvious than in public schools, where labor costs remain very high due to aggressive collective bargaining every few years at contract time. And there doesn’t seem to be much of a connection between increased salaries, more […]


Granite, UT school workers spend lavishly on travel, despite below-average academic results

By Steve Gunn on Monday, February 22nd, 2016 in Spending No Comments

SALT LAKE CITY – A lot of employees and/or students from the Granite, Utah school district have been traveling and eating a lot of pizza. But exactly who has been learning what? In fiscal year 2014-15, the Granite district spent a total of $611,904 on travel-related expenses, and another $167,621 on restaurants. Yet on 2015 […]


Fresno superintendent made $460,890 last year, despite poor student achievement results

By Steve Gunn on Monday, February 22nd, 2016 in Spending No Comments

FRESNO, Calif. – Top executives are ultimately responsible for the finished product. That begs a few questions about the Fresno, California school district: Do Fresno taxpayers know how much top administrators in their district are paid per year? And do they know how badly their students have been performing academically? Has anyone mentioned the possibility […]


Want to know how much Chicago’s spending on custodians? Don’t ask administrators

By Steve Gunn on Friday, February 19th, 2016 in Spending, Uncategorized No Comments

CHICAGO – In recent years public schools around the nation have been privatizing many support services, like custodial work or food preparation. The idea is to save money, because private vendors promise to perform the services for less than the districts previously paid unionized employees. But savings are only realized if school administrators properly award […]


Stockton school employees drop $39k traveling to Vegas, despite poor academic record

By Steve Gunn on Thursday, February 11th, 2016 in Spending No Comments

STOCKTON, Calif. – Most would agree that money spent by public schools should somehow be related to student learning. After all, that’s why public schools exist. So what’s the explanation for the bloated travel budget in the Stockton, California school district? In fiscal year 2014-15, the Stockton district spent $364,149 on travel-related costs, including hotels […]