Pittsburgh Public Schools

Issue Summary (Updated May 2012)
Pittsburgh Public Schools

The Issue:
The Pittsburgh Public School system is too expensive, continues to suffer from declining enrollment despite the creation of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program, and academic performance is not commensurate with expenditures.

What We Know:
Based on audited data for the 2010-11 school year, the Pittsburgh Public School District spent $20,686 per pupil.  That’s climbed significantly from where the per student spending was in 2000-01 when enrollment stood at 37,000.  Now the District has 27,000 students.

What is interesting to note is that teacher-to-student ratio has stayed relatively the same in recent years.  There has been a significant uptick in the number of “non-teachers” in the District’s headcount and the District has much more administrative space and square footage than it did before.

The District is currently contemplating another round of school closures and layoffs to adjust to the falling enrollment.  It needs to take a close look at all employment classifications to see why the headcount in non-teaching categories has grown as fast as it has.  Above all, it needs to come to grips with its level of spending and determine why results are less than stellar based on the money spent.