Valley schools excel in noninstructional services


Staff report

leetonia

Several Mahoning Valley school districts are among the most efficient school districts in the state in providing noninstructional services, outpacing other similar districts in operational costs, Ohio Education Matters has announced.

“These Valley districts have shown that it can deliver quality services at a lower cost than most other districts in the state,” said Andrew Benson, executive director of Ohio Education Matters. “The taxpayers and residents of these communities should be proud that their district takes seriously the best use of resources to benefit children.”

Leetonia was presented with a certificate of achievement as a “best-in-class” in providing non-instructional services more efficiently than other similar districts in the state. The certificate was issued by Ohio Education Matters, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks in Cincinnati.

The rating stems from a report issued by Ohio Education Matters this year as part of its nine-month study of K-12 education called Ohio Smart Schools. That report identified 135 school districts across Ohio that seem to get more for their money in central-office administration, school-level administration, food service, student transportation and building maintenance and operations than other similar districts.

“School districts that are not as efficient as these best-in-class districts should look to them to learn how they are doing more with less,” Benson said. “By spending less in these noninstructional areas and yet still meeting minimal quality standards, these districts are ensuring that more dollars are getting into its classrooms to help support students.”

In providing maintenance, Leetonia is an efficiency leader among rural districts with low median incomes, spending $1,326 per student, compared with similar districts that spent as much as $3,440 per student.

In its presentation, Ohio Education Matters also noted the following:

• In Mahoning County, Canfield is among the most efficient suburban districts in providing central administration, spending $381 per student. That compared to similar school districts that spent as much as $$2,459 per student.

• In providing school-level administration, Lowellville is among the most efficient small, urban districts with low median incomes, spending $291 per student. That compares to similar school districts, which spent as much as $1,207 per student.

• West Branch is an efficiency leader in school administration among rural districts with moderate median incomes, at $371 per student, while similar districts spent as much as $1,106 per student.

• Western Reserve is an efficiency leader in maintenance among small-town districts, spending $1,504 per student, while similar districts spent as much as $5,513 per student.

• Salem city schools led the way in Columbiana County by being among the most efficient of its peer districts in two different categories. In providing central-office administration, Salem was a leader among small urban districts, spending $512 per student. That compared to similar school districts that spent as much as $1,878 per student. Salem was also an efficiency leader in providing maintenance, spending $1,534 per student. That compared to similar school districts that spent as much as $2,833 per student.

• Columbiana Exempted Village is also an efficiency leader in providing maintenance at $1,171 per student. Classified by the Ohio Department of Education as a small urban district with high poverty and a low median income, some of its peers are spending as much as $2,833 per student.

• In providing maintenance, Leetonia is an efficiency leader among rural districts with low median incomes, spending $1,326 per student, compared with similar districts that spent as much as $3,440 per student.

• United is an efficiency leader among rural, moderate-income districts, spending $504 per student. That compared to similar school districts that spent as much as $1,106.per student.

In Trumbull County, Weathersfield led the way by being a best-in-class district in two different categories. In food service, Weathersfield is an efficiency leader among small urban districts with low median incomes, spending $1.97 per meal. That compared to similar districts, which spent as much as $5.67 per meal. In providing school-level administration, Weathersfield was the most efficient of its peers, spending $260 per student, while similar districts spent as much as $1,207 per student.

• In providing transportation, the Bloomsfield-Mesopotamia district is among the most efficient rural districts with low median incomes, spending $37,176 per bus. That compared to similar districts, which spent as much as $69,553 per bus.

• In providing school-level administration, Champion was among the most efficient rural districts with moderate median incomes, spending $370 per student. That compared to similar districts, which spent as much as $908 per student.

• In providing central-office administration, Hubbard was also a leader among small urban districts, spending $537 per student. That compared to similar school districts that spent as much as $1,878 per student.

• In providing transportation, Southington is among the most efficient rural districts with moderate median incomes, spending $30,170 per bus. That compared to similar districts, which spent as much as $66,585 per bus.

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