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Classrooms get 50% of...

Classrooms get 50% of budget

Full and original article posted on Telegram & Gazette

City is comparable to rest of the state

WORCESTER —  At least two startling figures came out of a community briefing on the school budget last night. The first was that only 50 cents of every dollar in the budget makes its way into the classroom. The second was that that figure likely matches the state average.

The way Worcester spends its education dollars is very similar to what the average district in Massachusetts does, according to research by James R. Gomes, executive director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark University, and research assistant S. Kofi Ampaabeng. Mr. Gomes cited 2009 figures from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that showed Worcester spent 44 percent of its budget on classroom and specialist teachers — a figure that does not include other costs, such as instructional materials — while the average Massachusetts district spent 39 percent of its budget on the same thing. The percentages Worcester public schools spent in all other categories, such as administration, insurance and retirement, and pupil services, were also approximately the same as the average Massachusetts district.

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