School administration expenditures include compensation for school principals, principals’ staff, vice principals and academic department chairpersons. School administrators manage the operations of individual schools, as compared to general administrators, who manage districtwide operations. They perform such activities as evaluating staff, maintaining school records, coordinating instruction and assigning duties.[26]

There is much less difference among districts in school administration spending than in student support services, instructional staff support services and general administration. In 2010, the city locale group spent 23 percent more per pupil than the rural group did — $702 versus $571, respectively — but per-pupil spending in the city locale group decreased by 6 percent from 2004 to 2010 (see Graphic 17). Per-pupil school administration expenditures increased in the suburban (11 percent), town (11 percent) and rural groups (10 percent). DPS was the only locale subgroup to reduce such spending over this period, cutting per-pupil expenditures by 28 percent, primarily through a significant reduction from 2009 to 2010. Among the 12 subgroups, the midsize city subgroup increased per-pupil school administration spending the most — 18 percent from 2004 to 2010.[*]

Graphic 17: School District School Administration Expenditures per Pupil by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 17: School District School Administration
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

The four major locale groups assigned between 5.4 percent and 6.1 percent of their operational spending to school administration in 2010 — the smallest disparity among any of the spending categories (see Graphic 18). These percentages shrunk for districts in the four major locale groups, with the city locale group generating the largest decline from 2004 to 2010: 20 percent. For every year from 2004 to 2009, the suburban group spent the smallest portion of its operating expenditures on school administration; in 2010, the city locale group spent the smallest portion.

Among the 12 subgroups, only the midsize suburban and remote town subgroups spent a larger portion of their operating expenditures on school administration in 2010 than in 2004, but this was by less than 1 percent. DPS cut this proportion most dramatically (45 percent), followed by the remote rural subgroup (9 percent) and the small suburban subgroup (8 percent).[†]

Graphic 18: School District School Administration Expenditures as a Percent of Operating Expenditures by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 18: School District School Administration 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


[*] See Appendix B, Graphic 43.

[†] See Appendix B, Graphic 44.


[26] “The National Public Education Financial Survey Instruction Booklet,” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), 55, http://www.ped.state .nm.us/div/fin/school.budget/dl08/recFinalReports0607/NPEFSManual.pdf (accessed March 22, 2011).