The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday Wonderings

Did you ever wonder why?

1. Did you ever wonder why so many WCSC buses run around half empty half the time?
This might come as a surprise to the mathematically challenged :-) ... but 100% of Wawasee's buses run at 50% capacity half the time. We had a plan to create 100% efficiency 100% of the time but the parents didn't want to drive their kids to the bus driver's house!

2. Did you ever wonder why Wawasee has the second highest property values per student in the state but has always ranked in the bottom quarter in revenue per student?
Due to high property wealth here, a low tax rate generates a lot of money so the state withholds state revenue and sends it to schools with higher "needs." While our "needy" students are increasing, they must not be increasing as fast as other school districts.

3. Did you ever wonder why property taxes are unpopular but school superintendents are reluctant to support getting rid of it in favor of other taxes?
The property tax is a stable, if unpopular tax. Students are always with us and always need education no matter what the economy is doing. If we switch to sales taxes and income taxes to fund schools, then revenue streams are erratic and float up and down with the economy. While a business can layoff employees during a downtime, schools always have students whether their parents have jobs or not. It's hard to "layoff" students to make ends meet and outsourcing students to third world countries doesn't appear popular either!

4. Did you ever wonder why the school can afford athletic programs but it scrimps and saves in other areas?
Athletic programs are entirely self - supporting except for the coaches stipends and some large facility expenditures. Cutting athletics will not help the instructional program in any way.

5. Did you ever wonder why a school district can build a new building but it can't increase personnel to staff it?
Facilities are paid for from a different fund and the school cannot transfer building project money over to the General Fund where personnel costs come from. is true, your school system could conceivably build a "Taj Mahal" but not raise taxes to hire more teachers. The school boards have a lot of control over Debt Service Funds to pay for buildings but almost no control over the General Fund to pay for staffing.

Have you ever "wondered" about a school issue? E-mail it to me (link is on the sidebar) and I will make a list and try to answer some frequently asked questions about schools.

Have a great Thanksgiving Break!!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. Maybe buses run half empty because the schools decided to run the routes so there are no left turns which means that students who live 5 minutes from school have to ride for an hour which is ridiculous. But that's just a maybe.
2. The superintendent has also said that we have the lower tax rate because of something that happened in the legislature a long time ago. Apparently nobody has the guts to make a change.
3. Yes other tax forms are somewhat variable -- both up and down. Curiosity lets me wonder which would be better -- and most fair to the community. If the community has less money, maybe the school should also cut back on the frills. But that's just a maybe.
4. It is misleading (at best) to say that athletic programs are entirely self supporting. First of all, one or two sports pay for all of them. If the sports had to be individually self supporting, we would have a lot fewer. Second of all, the school pays for the facilities, the athletic director, the athletic director's secretary, and so on. And the school justifies facility use as for classes that seldom if ever get to use them. Everybody knows the facilities are really for the sports groups.
5. It is somewhat true. I think it's also true that the board could grow some - guts - and ask the community to pay for more salary increases and staff through a levy. But that's just an I think.