Appeals for School Spending

Appeals for School Spending

Students of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, education advocates, and parents of children in the District are in Harrisburg today to petition for more money for public education. At least one student stated "we need to prioritize the budget and make education the No. 1 thing like it was a long time ago".

Without any reference to when "a long time ago" was exactly, let’s look at it from the perspective of a high school senior who will graduate in June of 2013, just about when the 2012-13 fiscal year will be wrapping up. That senior would have been in kindergarten in the 2001-02 fiscal year. Here’s how the spending of $1 in general fund money compares now and then:

Fiscal Year


All Other Functions


42.3 cents

57.7 cents


40.5 cents

59.5 cents

The other functions include health and human services, protection of people and property, direction of services, economic development, and other.

Education has been the top dog in state spending likely for much longer than the public school enrollment for the soon to be graduating senior. Keep in mind that Federal and local dollars are in the mix and that, for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, if there is an issue about in-class resources it should be noted that the last decade has seen tremendous growth in personnel and costs associated with folks who won’t step foot in a classroom and have a direct influence on the student.