That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics.
Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for which the Department of Education has reported the financial data—the Detroit public schools had “total expenditures” of $18,361 per student and “current expenditures” of $13,330 per student.
According to data published by the Detroit Public Schools, the school district’s operating expenses in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 amounted to approximately $14,743 per student.
In 2015, 21 large urban school districts participated in the NAEP tests in reading and mathematics as part of what the Department of Education calls its Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Among these 21 districts, the Detroit Public Schools had the smallest percentages of eighth graders scoring proficient or better in reading and math.
In reading, the Cleveland public schools were next to last among the large urban school districts with only 11 percent scoring proficient or better. Baltimore and Fresno were tied for third worst with only 13 percent scoring proficient or better; and Philadelphia ranked fifth worst with only 16 percent scoring proficient or better.
The Cleveland public schools also ranked next to last in math, with only 9 percent of eight graders scoring proficient or better. Baltimore and Fresno were also tied for third worst in math, with only 12 percent scoring proficient or better; and Los Angeles ranked fifth worst with 15 percent scoring proficient or better in math.
The Department of Education has published fiscal information on the Detroit public schools for the 2011-2012 school year. That year, the Detroit Public Schools had total expenditures of $1,231,375,000, equaling $18,361 per student. That included $13,330 per student for current expenditures, $3,182 for capital outlays, and $1,737 for interest on the school system’s debt.
$271,358,000 of the school district's funding for the 2011-2012 school year came from the federal government.
The $13,330 for “current expenditures” included $515,473,000 for “instructional expenditures,” $133,282,000 for “student and staff support,” $97,800,000 for “administration,” and $147,411,000 for “operations, food service” and other expenses.
The Detroit Public Schools’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 says the school district served “an estimated 48,905 students” during that fiscal year. “Of the District’s total operating expenditures of approximately $721 million, 48 percent or approximately $346 million, was spent on instruction for the year ended on June 30, 2014,” said the report.
The approximately $721 million in total operating expenditures the school district reported for fiscal 2014 equaled approximately $14,743 for each of the district’s 48,905 students.