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RCSD Ranked in Top 10 for Spending Per Student

The Rochester City School District ranks among the top 10 in the nation when it comes to per pupil spending for large school districts. That’s according to Govistics - a web-based product of the Center for Governmental Research.

The data released Thursday shows Rochester spends nearly $20,984 per student. Kent Gardner, Chief Economist for the Center of Governmental Research, says the figures, which are for the 2010 school year, are “relatively crude".

"We're just taking a look at the total spending as reported to the census bureau and dividing it by the enrollment as reported to census bureau," Gardner says. "So if you really wanted to take a look at spending in a very detailed way, you'd have a lot more information....analysis this is just a first cut across all the 200 odd school districts of size across the nation."

According to Gardner, the data also shows that districts that have seen a significant reduction in student enrollment are slow to change their spending habits. And of the 21 districts that lost at least %10 of enrollment from 2005-2010, inflation-adjusted spending per student actually increased.

Rochester ranked 7th in the nation of top spending school districts per pupil - Buffalo took the 3rd spot.

Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas calls the report inaccurate. He says there are other factors that weren't accounted for - such as charter schools.  Vargas says the district spends roughly 17,000 per student.