This category includes operating expenditures for providing food to both students and staff. It includes compensation for cooks, servers, nutritionists, supervisors and other employees responsible for preparing and serving food.[32] It also includes equipment expenses and purchased food or food services from third-party providers.[33] Many districts use federal revenues to pay for a substantial portion of their food services, and this spending is included in the food services expenditure category.[*]

School districts typically budget food services separately from other operating expenditures (including spending on support services), because food services generate revenue from the sale of food items. In keeping with NPEFS practices, this income is not used to adjust the food services expenditures discussed here.[†] Thus, the food services expenditures reported below are gross expenditures.

Graphic 27: School District Food Services Expenditures per Pupil by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 27: School District Food Services Expenditures per
Pupil by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010 - click to enlarge

Source: Local Education Agency Universe Survey; Michigan Department of Education, Data for National Public Education Financial Survey

In per-pupil terms in 2010, as Graphic 27 shows, rural districts on average spent the most on food services ($435), followed by the city locale group ($429), with the suburban group spending the least ($337). All four of the major locales produced net increases in per-pupil food services expenditures from 2004 to 2010, ranging from a rise of 19 percent in the suburban locale group to 26 percent in the city and town locale groups. Similarly, during the same period, all 12 of the subgroups produced net increases in per-pupil food services expenditures. Midsize suburban districts on average had the smallest per-pupil spending increase in this category (13 percent), and they also spent the least in 2010 on average ($324 per pupil).[‡]

Food services expenditures grew as a portion of operating expenditures in all four major locale groups, with town districts on average increasing this portion the most — 12 percent — from 2004 to 2010 (see Graphic 28). The midsize city subgroup produced the largest increase in this portion of operational spending from 2004 to 2010, with a share growing from 2.9 percent to 3.4 percent, a 15 percent increase. The midsize suburban subgroup’s food services spending as a portion of operating expenditures increased by less than 0.5 percent from 2004 to 2010, the smallest of any of the locale subgroups.[§]

Graphic 28: School District Food Services Expenditures as a Percent of Operating Expenditures by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 28: School District Food Services Expenditures as
a Percent of Operating Expenditures by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010 - click to enlarge

Source: Local Education Agency Universe Survey; Michigan Department of Education, Data for National Public Education Financial Survey


[*] “The National Public Education Financial Survey Instruction Booklet,” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), 61, http://www.ped.state. nm.us/div/fin/school.budget/dl08/recFinalReports0607/NPEFSManual.pdf (accessed March 22, 2011). Some of this federal revenue is targeted to students from low-income families.

[†] Ibid., 62. Revenues generated from food sales are reported as local revenue in the NPEFS. Michael Van Beek, phone conversation with Glenda Rader, assistant director, Michigan Department of Education, May 23, 2011.

[‡] See Appendix B, Graphic 53.

[§] See Appendix B, Graphic 54.


[32] “The National Public Education Financial Survey Instruction Booklet,” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), 61, http://www.ped.state .nm.us/div/fin/school.budget/dl08/recFinalReports0607/NPEFSManual.pdf (accessed March 22, 2011).

[33] Ave, Honegger, and Johnson, “Documentation for the NCES Common Core of Data National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS), School Year 2007-08 (Fiscal Year 2008)” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010), B-3, http://nces .ed.gov/ccd/pdf/stfis081agen.pdf (accessed March 4, 2011).