Loudoun Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) has been attacking the public schools since he took office, repeatedly trying to justify his push to slash the school budget on the grounds that “there is top-heavy management.” He repeats this false claim again in his most recent “news”[sic]letter to constituents.
The reality, as Williams knows full well, is that Loudoun not only has the lowest per-pupil expenditure of any Washington-area district (about $11,000 per year, versus $13,000 for Fairfax and $18,000 for Arlington), but spends a miniscule amount on administration.
Here are the facts for Loudoun’s school budget for FY 13:
Total per-pupil cost per year: $11,752
Administration cost per pupil: $235
Williams is trying to cloak his anti-public school position with the fig-leaf claim that “I am concerned that there is top-heavy management at the administration level, and funding is not getting down to classrooms and teachers where it belongs. It is with this perspective that I will enter into the upcoming budget process.” But the real obstacle to adequately supporting teachers and classroom education is hardly the $235 per pupil (2 percent) that goes to administration: it is the 2,500 new pupils being added to the rolls each year (thanks to previous developer-friendly Republican Boards) and the fact that the Loudoun Republican apparatchiks who answer to home-school religious zealot “Chancellor” Michael Farris of Purcellville’s Patrick Henry Bible College have no commitment to adequately funding public education in the first place.