FACTS ABOUT THE WRSD BUDGET
See below for some brief explanations. If you have further questions, please reach out to us.
Free, Full-Day K
We are one of the 57 school districts out of 314 total total districts in MA that do not have free, full-day kindergarten.
More info about full-day K in the Commonwealth can be found here: http://www.strategiesforchildren.org/doc_infographics
According to the Superintendent, there would be a one-time, initial of cost $800,000 + cost of half-time teachers going to full-time + cost of additional classrooms, but we don’t currently have the space in all schools to accomodate free, full-day K.
Staffed Libraries – Middle School/ Elementary School
All WRSD libraries were staffed by library aides until budget cuts in 2012.
The district policy on school libraries can be found here: http://www.wrsd.net/schoolcommittee/policies/P3421.pdf
According to research, libraries have many benefits beyond the obvious. In terms of academics, districtsa with strong libraries have higher standardized test scores, as well as “other important indicators of student success, including graduation rates and mastery of academic standards.” (http://www.kappanonline.org/lance-kachel-school-librarians-matter-years-research)
According to the Superintendent, it would cost $762,432 for certified media specialists or $322,432 for paraprofessionals to run the libraries.
Staffed Libraries – High School
The WRHS Media Center has similar staff levels to other districts. Unfortunately the materials within the library are not up-to-date.
Counselors other than school psych. – Elementary
Most elementary schools have a school psychologist AND a guidance counselor. We have 1 school psychologist per elementary school building.
WRSD Policy on Counseling and Career Guidance: http://www.wrsd.net/schoolcommittee/policies/p3621.pdf
Counselors other than School Psych. -Middle/High School
We have 5 schools in the WRSD that educate students in grades 6-8, yet we only have 4 middle school counselors. Many middle schools have more than 1 guidance counselor or social worker, yet we have a middle school that doesn’t have even one full-time.
The FY19 budget asks for a middle school guidance counselor postition to be added.
Per Pupil Spending
In the following chart, you can compare Wachusett’s in-district spending to the state average. This report from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education shows per pupil expenditures by major functional categories for the last three years, including total in-district expenditures, and total expenditures. Total expenditures per pupil average across all expenditures and pupils, both in-district and out-of-district.
Instructional Materials/ Technology
In 2017, we spent less than a quarter of what Quabbin, Worcester, and Shrewsbury spent on instructional materials, yet our instructional materials, textbooks, and technology in the WRSD are in desperate need of update.
The plan to update instructional materials, called the Textbook plan is a 9-year plan to get us up-to date. See below for details, as well as the current plan to update technology in the district.
2017-2026 WRSD Textbook Plan (incl. various curriculum materials) http://www.wrsd.net/documents/WRSDTextbookPlanFeb2018SC.pdf
2016-2021 WRSD Technology Plan http://www.wrsd.net/documents/TechnologyPlan.pdf
There is often a myth circulated around budget time that we have a bloated administration. This is far from true. The numbers speak for themselves, both in how much we spend per pupil and the following chart which shows staffing levels in the different administration areas over 3 years.