Why would one school receive more or less funding per student than an other?


Leander ISD proudly offers programs and systems of support to meet every student’s needs. In our budgeting, we create equity amongst our schools to support the individuality of every child. Some services require more funds and student populations differ from campus to campus; therefore, funding will be equitable for students but not always comparatively equal amongst schools.

When comparing campus-to-campus, per-pupil funding, the following factors contribute to the analysis:

  • experience of staff,
  • programs offered,
  • student populations and
  • the size of the school.

Funding formulas generate more revenue for students in some specialized programs such as career and technical education (CTE), special education, bilingual education, and gifted and talented education to help support the additional services.

Also, larger schools will generally have lower per-student costs due to staffing formulas for administrative positions (ex. every school has one principal, despite its size) and recently opened schools could be more costly in their initial years as we add new grade levels and new students. Older schools could be slightly impacted as well, as the cost for renovations and improvements impacts their total budget.

For additional information, please review the Texas Education Agency Weighted Funding document.

2017-18 High School Per Student Spending Breakdown


2017-18 PEIMS Financial Standard Report for Leander ISD

2017-18 TAPR Reports for Leander ISD

Source Documents from the Texas Education Agency (TEA)

SchoolFinance ReportEnrollment Report
Cedar ParkFinanceTAPR
Vista RidgeFinanceTAPR

Examples of the Student Enrollment on Per Student Spending

The following totals equal the per student spending by high school for Leander ISD in 2017-18, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) PEIMS Finance Report.

  • Cedar Park, $6,977 for 2,026 students
  • Glenn, $7,666 for 1,137 students
  • Leander, $7,264 for 2,190 students
  • Rouse, $7,011 for 1,849 students
  • Vandegrift, $6,218 for 2,579 students
  • Vista Ridge, $6,969 for 2,324 students

The difference in funding is directly attributed to spending and enrollment in two key areas for funding: economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.

For example, Leander spends $1,526 per student to fund programs for 254 students with disabilities. In comparison, Vandegrift serves 127 students with disabilities, totaling $677 per student. Please note the per student total is representative of the entire enrollment, not just students with a disability.

In addition, the per student spending shows a difference for schools that have higher enrollment of students deemed economically disadvantaged. For example, while Glenn High School has 384 economically disadvantaged students, contributing to its high per student spending of $7,666 compared to Cedar Park with 190 economically disadvantaged students and $6,977 per student spending.

Sources: TEA PEIMS Finance Report 2017-18 for Leander ISD, TEA TAPR Reports by Campus for 2017-18

Examples of the Employee Experience on Per Student Spending

Average teacher salary, determined by experience, impacts student spending, as payroll amounts to approximately 87% of each school’s budget. For example, Vista Ridge has the highest average teacher salary and years of experience for a teacher – $53,461 and 13 years – while Glenn is a more modest $49,472 and 7.3 years.

Also, due to the staffing of administrative positions such as principals, registrars and other support staff, it is more expensive to operate a smaller school than a larger school. For example, Glenn has the highest per student spending, but it also has the lowest enrollment total for 2017–18 (prior to adding a senior class in 2018–19), totaling 1,442 fewer students than Vandegrift, the highest enrolled school.

Sources: TEA PEIMS Finance Report 2017-18 for Leander ISD, TEA TAPR Reports by Campus for 2017-18

Updated on May 1, 2019

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