Keeping Up With Maine

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Editor:

Jim Keyworth's "PUSD administrative cost actually low" is a timely and thorough comparison of Payson schools to others in the state.

The problem is that the State of Arizona is not a very good benchmark.

The figures I quote are from NEA statistics (National Education Association), but predate Keyworth's figures by two years, 2000 or 2002. If someone wants more recent figures, I assume they are available from the NEA.

Anyhow, the NEA figures show that Arizona is second from last in the U.S. at 57.4 percent of total expenditures spent on instruction. Maine does the best job of spending money in the classroom with 68.2 percent of the school's money going there.

Incidentally, "Education Week" magazine thinks even Maine could do better, as they only give Maine a B+ rating for their efforts. "Education Week" gives Arizona a D- rating. Also, incidentally, 68.2 percent is 118.8 percent of 57.4 percent, so if Arizona tried real hard, we could probably re-direct 20 percent of our school money to the classroom.

Payson, at 60.8 percent in the classroom, could re-direct 12 percent if we could match Maine's performance.

Dan Adams, Payson

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