Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The School Budget - 2003

Forewarned is forearmed. Here is some previous fiscal data for Rome's budget in preparation for tonight's meeting in Strough at 7pm.

Thanks to Let Upstate Be Upstate, I was able to find the Census Bureau's list of school budgets for 2003 (the latest year they have data). I managed to pull the text data into a Lotus spreadsheet and break down the Rome budget.

Rome can be found on row 9705. Columns for data go to BN (66 total) so I will refer to the relevant ones. Dollar figures not counting per student costs are to the nearest thousand dollars.

For 2003:Total Enrollment: 6275 [G]
Total Revenue: 79,412,000 [H]
Total Expenditure: 80,726,000 [AA]
You will notice a mismatch of $1,314,000.

Federal Revenue: 5,172,000 [I]
State Revenue: 54,776,000 [N]
Local Revenue: 19,464,000 [S]
Property taxes are included in local revenue and is separated in its own column
Property Taxes: 15,912,000 [U]

The payout figures go like this -
Total Current Spending: 71,644,000 [AB]
That is a combination of -
Total Current Spending for Instruction: 46,618,000 [AE]
Total Current Spending for Support Services: 22,113,000 [AH]
Other Current Spending: 2,913,000 [AN]

There are also the following figures that make up the non current spending.
Total Capital Outlay Expenditure: 5,700,000 [AO]
Payments to Other Governments: 700,000 [AP]
Interest on School System Indebtedness: 2,682,000 [AQ]

And so we're paying over $2.6 million just to finance school debt

Salaries -
Total salaries and wages: 45,604,000 [AC]
Total employee benefit payments: 13,569,000 [AD]
Salaries and wages for instruction: 34,059,000 [AF]
Employee benefits for instruction: 10,317,000 [AG]

And finally, the spending per pupil is $11,189 [BD] in Rome. Of course, this figure does not add in the $42,860,000 debt [AR] from expenditures like the new high school.

The per pupil figure is actually below the New York State average. Of course, an area like NYC being in the state is going to trend any average figure up. Most states are able to keep spending below $10,000 per pupil, usually by increasing the district size. That would be fine with me, since my main gripe is with the Rome School Board, and not as some people believe, some imagined hatred of teachers. Sure, the teachers make plenty of money and live in Lee where taxes are low, but it's the School Board that lets them.

Maybe you should write County Exec. Griffo and suggest a Utica-Rome unified school district.

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