Data Driven Analysis k-12 education salary expenditures in South Dakota

Added September 5th, 2014 by

How important is South Dakota’s “rank” in k-12 education salary expenditures?

Drawing conclusions from data requires a comprehensive look at more than one data point.  Here are some examples of how putting a single data point in regional context adds clarity.

SD FY12 per-student spending on instructional salaries ranked 41st in the nation

 Well, that might not be unexpected, after all, this is the Midwest and everything is less expensive than on the coasts… Right?

Let’s see what analysis of our regional data tells us about this.

The data shows our neighboring states all ranked between 6th and 25th, with average instructional salary spending per-student ranging from $4,148 to $6,121 compared to $3,467 in South Dakota. So it isn’t cheaper to educate kids in our region, just in South Dakota.  Take a look for yourself at the data source FY12 k-12 funding – I’ve highlighted South Dakota’s revenue and expenditure rankings as well as our neighboring states rankings so you can easily see how regional rankings vary. 

SD FY12 per-student spending on general administration ranked 18th in the nation

South Dakota school districts must be over-paying their administrators, even compared to our region…. Right?

Let’s see what analysis of our regional data tells us about this.

The data shows our neighboring states ranked from 3rd to 20th with average general administration spending per student ranging $255 to $507 compared to $283 in South Dakota (only Iowa had lower general administration costs).  Again – you might want check out the  data source FY12 k-12 funding for yourself. 

Additional analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics administrative salary data adjusted for price parity (cost-of-living) by state shows administrative salaries in South Dakota have less purchasing power than all of the neighboring states except Montana. 

SD BPI will be explaining these and other education funding research results at South Dakotans Talking meetings around the state

Come and learn more about k-12 education fiscal policy basics and SD teacher salaries with the focus on the facts. Then begin a consensus-building discussion with other community members.

FYI – here are some primary data sources SD BPI uses in analyzing SD k-12 funding: 

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