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BVSD continues to be 1 of state’s most efficient in per pupil spending

February 05. 2014 9:47AM
The financial data from school districts all over South Dakota for the 2012-13 school year has been made available in the Educational Statistics Digest found on the S.D. Department of Education website. Brandon Valley School District has a long history of being one of the lowest spending districts in the state on a per-pupil basis and that continues to be the case based on the newest data.

Out of 151 school districts, Brandon Valley was 149th on the list with only Tea Area and Lennox spending less per-pupil. That investment produces one of the top achievement outcomes in the state, which speaks to the efficient and effective use of resources that is the standard way we do education at Brandon Valley. Brandon Valley spent $1,358 per student less than the state average. That means the district would have had an additional $4,700,000 if it were to spend at the average rate. Think what Brandon Valley could do with that kind of funding!

The spread from lowest (Tea at $5,800) to highest (Elk Mountain at $28,477) is shocking to most. There are various unique reasons why districts are at either end of the spectrum. Many districts receive more federal aid and many have opted-out of the property tax limitation to provide more funding. Most of the smaller districts receive more state funding due to factors like being small or having a sparse population density.

Brandon Valley School District tries to be a good steward of the resources it receives. We always wish we had a little more so we could reduce class sizes and expand programs and services. The Legislature is working on the funding for next year right now and we are hopeful that our senators and representatives will support K-12 with additional dollars to help us fulfill our mission.

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