Saturday morning there was a Debt Financing Workshop at the Administrative Complex. About half of the County Commission and half of the School Board attended. There were no reporters present. There will be a second workshop on Saturday, April 22.
One way or another we are headed into a discussion and some decision-making (by the County Commission) about how to fund the schools and the growth anticipated over the next decade. Below are some things you need to know.
Today: two facts. Tomorrow: three proposals from the County Commission.
1) 66% of Williamson County’s expenditures are for Williamson County Schools.
2) Our tax rate is the lowest in Middle Tennessee.
At $2.15 (per $100 of a property’s assessed value), Williamson County also has the lowest tax rate among Tennessee counties with populations greater than 100,000. We had the highest growth rate at 19.61%.
Notes on School Funding
Tennessee is typically in the bottom ten states for per pupil expenditures. The average based on ADA (average daily attendance) was $9,499 for the 2015-16 school year. For comparison, WCS spent $8,945.60 per student (56.1% local) while FSSD, which has its own taxing authority and is usually #1 in the state, spent $13,462.40 (68.8% local).
This interactive map shows slightly lower figures because it’s based on ADM (average daily membership) or the enrollment. The darkest blue districts have the highest per pupil expenditures, and the lightest have the lowest.
See also Part 2: Can We Avoid Building Schools?