Belmont: Middle of the pack for per resident school spending

There are three zillion different ways you can slice the school spending pie and analyze the numbers, and none of them are particularly satisfying. One way, however, is to look at how much each town spends per resident on its schools, and by that matter Belmont is in the middle of the pack state wide – spending just above the state average per resident, and less than Winchester (BCH Editor Tony Schinella’s model district) but nowhere near as much as peer districts like Lexington, Concord/Carlisle. The data is from 2009 and appears in today’s Globe West. You can also check it out online here.

I’m not sure what this does – except counter the idea that Belmont spends extravagantly on its schools. Indeed, we perform in the top percentile, but spend per resident in the middle of the curve, so that would seem to suggest that our district is over performing. Of course, a look at the top spending districts per resident quickly shows that the correlation between per resident spending and performance doesn’t hold up. While almost all the top performing districts are in the top 100 in per resident school expenditures, its also true that some low performing districts are among the top ranked in per resident school spending.