Georgia’s most and least financially ‘efficient’ school districts revealed


Forsyth County Schools is the only district in metro Atlanta to receive the highest marks under Georgia’s “financial efficiency” measure for 2017.

The district, along with Oconee County Schools and Jefferson City Schools, received five points on the Financial Efficiency Star Ratings released Friday by the Georgia Department of Education. Atlanta Public Schools, meanwhile, had one of the worst scores in the state, with one and a half points.

The rating, required by state law, compares per-pupil spending with academic outcomes using a 3-year average of both spending and scores on the College and Career Ready Performance Index, the test-driven school report card. The scores can range from half a point to five points, in half point increments, though no district scored lower than one point.

Atlanta Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Lisa Bracken said the school district has higher costs for several reasons: The expense of city living drives up teacher pay; the district has “low population” schools that lack economies of scale but are kept open “due to urban traffic constraints and community needs;” many students need extra services because they have learning problems or disabilities, don’t speak English fluently or come from poverty; and the district has a large unfunded pension liability with growing obligations.

Among the other districts in the heart of the metro area, Gwinnett and Cherokee counties had the next best scores, with four and a half points. Cobb and Coweta counties each had a point less. Fayette County had three points and the cities of Buford and Decatur had two and a half points. DeKalb and Fulton counties and Marietta each got two points.

More detailed results for school districts can be downloaded from this link, and school-level results can be downloaded here. The state education department offers more information here, and so does the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, here.

In other Education news:

Bookmark myAJC.com/education, the subscriber website of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for in-depth reporting on education...

 

Related:

...Georgia schools did better on report card, but there are caveats

...How are Georgia’s schools doing? Report cards explained

 

...The AJC's Ty Tagami keeps you updated on the latest in Georgia education. Follow real journalism with real local impact by subscribing to myAJC.com.

 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Engineering firm shows students how lessons apply in real world
Engineering firm shows students how lessons apply in real world

A primary focus of today’s school systems is educating students with an eye toward career goals, so engaging private businesses is key. A recent outing sponsored by Columbia Engineering, a community partner with nearby Coleman Middle School, shows why. It gave a group of eighth-graders what teacher LaShandia Hill called “a true ‘day...
Mass shootings spur metro Atlanta students to plan school walkouts
Mass shootings spur metro Atlanta students to plan school walkouts

Students across metro Atlanta plan to walk out of at least two dozen middle schools, high schools and universities next month as part of a national protest against gun violence. The National School Walkout is one of three high-profile demonstrations that students around the country are joining as they call for gun law changes after last week&rsquo...
Tighter rules for Uber Eats delivery, visitors at Atlanta high school
Tighter rules for Uber Eats delivery, visitors at Atlanta high school

After last week’s school shooting in Florida, North Atlanta High School will institute safety measures that include disciplining students who order food delivery and tighter rules for visitors.  North Atlanta principal Curtis Douglass sent a letter to parents Friday outlining security changes at the high school.  Among the changes...
NFL player discusses what he’ll bring home from Morehouse College social justice workshop
NFL player discusses what he’ll bring home from Morehouse College social justice workshop

Najee Goode, a linebacker on the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, is one of 27 current and former athletes visiting Morehouse College in Atlanta this week for a three-day workshop on how they can address social justice issues in their communities. The workshop was created after last year’s national debate over the appropriateness...
Change to Georgia senate bill raises safety concerns
Change to Georgia senate bill raises safety concerns

Some Georgia Tech students and residents who live near the campus are raising concerns about recent changes to legislation they fear will impede campus safety. Senate Bill 348 initially allowed campus police to go up to 500 yards off campus to make arrests. Senate lawmakers, though, changed the distance campus police can venture off campus to make...
More Stories