Orleans, Provincetown schools are Cape most expensive

Orleans Elementary, Provincetown remain Cape’s most expensive schools

   The range of cost per pupil in Cape Cod public schools is staggering.

Sandwich keeps it affordable, Nauset and P-Town Mark Big Increases

by Walter Brooks

Orleans Elementary School maintained its unenviable position as the second-most expensive school on Cape Cod.  After promises of an adjustment in per pupil expenditure following criticism over Fiscal 2010’s cost per pupil, Orleans reduced its cost from $23,905 in FY10 to $23,445 in FY11 according to data obtained through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

DESE last updated FY11 date on May 4. Fiscal 2011 covered the 2010-2011 school year and is the most recent year for which per pupil expenditures are published.

Provincetown increased its cost per pupil from $29,119 in FY10 to a stunning $31,294 in FY11.
The statewide average
cost per student is $13,361.
Meanwhile the Cape’s most expensive school district--Provincetown--increased its cost per pupil from $29,119 in FY10 to a stunning $31,294 in FY11.  Provincetown is phasing out its high school and sending those students to Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham.  The Provincetown district hopes to operate its own PK-8 school.

Sandwich retained its crown as the least expensive school district with a per pupil expenditure of only $11,410, up from $11,333 in FY10.

The Nauset Regional School District increased its per pupil spending by $1,987, while Provincetown’s cost increased by $2,175 per student.

Click here or on the image to see a larger version.The statewide average cost per student is $13,361.  Barnstable flies quite close to the state average, educating its 5,566 students at a cost of $13,291 per pupil.

DESE’s FY11 data provides much more detail than observed in previous reports.  For example, the report now differentiates between students served in-district and those tuitioned out-of-district. 

Out-of-district tuition placements can include school choice, technical school and special education assignments.

Our continuing coverage of the Cape’s changing public education landscape will explore the numbers for some districts--most especially Orleans--and keep taxpayers informed on this important issue.

Read the previous report last March here.

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