Andalusia leads local per student spending

The construction of buildings on the campuses of AES and AHS pushed Andalusia's per pupil numbers higher.

The construction of buildings on the campuses of AES and AHS pushed Andalusia’s per pupil numbers higher. Here, students are shown in a new science lab at AJHS.

Of the three school systems in the county, Andalusia City Schools spent the most per student last year, according to an analysis of fiscal spending report from the Alabama Department of Education released recently.

ACS spent $11,701.99 per student for fiscal year 2014.

Covington County Schools spent $10,457.66 per student, while Opp City Schools spent $10,072.56 per student.

ACS also spent the most on instructional services at $5,138.03 per student

ACS Superintendent Ted Watson said that as part of the instructional services money, the system upgraded its computer labs.

“We furnished six new Mac computer labs with needed technology,” he said. “It was past time for us to do that, and we brought everything up to date. We are much better off than we were and our students have the needed technology to stay on par.”

Watson said the computer labs were placed at each of the schools and the IT department was able to repurpose some old computers to make nine total labs.

OCS spent the most on instructional support at $1,410.52 per student and the most on operations and maintenance at $1,001.21 per student.

OCS Superintendent Michael Smithart said the amount or percentage of the budget spent on instructional support is significantly impacted by ADM.

“The difference in enrollment is evident, but each school must have a principal, librarian and counselor and the few number of students will drive up the percentage of the budget spent in that category,” he said. “I believe we all have aspects of our systems that drive expenditures.”

Covington County Schools spent $712.14 per student on transportation services.

OCS spent the most per student on food services at $732.04 per student, while ACS spent $658.92 per student and Covington County Schools spent $646.97 per student.

OCS spent the most per student in the administrative services category at $536.72.

Andalusia City Schools spent $2,958.80 per student on capital outlay projects, while Opp spent $109.50 per student and the county schools spent $118.69 per student.

Watson said the money for capital outlay was obviously spent on the new wings at the elementary school and high school.

Covington County Schools spent the most on debt service per student last fiscal year at $1,294.74.

Opp City spent $626.82 and Andalusia spent $76.99.

Overall, Andalusia City Schools operated on a $20.49 million budget; Opp City Schools had a $12.7 million budget and Covington County Schools had a $32.7 million budget.

 

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