Cost of Busing and Sports in Lowell

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Everyone will tell you we can’t charge fees but look at how much money the city of Lowell spends on these items.

The cost of student transportation is a large part of the budget. Combined the district spends approx. $7.3 Million Dollars NOT including athletics.

The School System has budgeted $ 3.4 million for regular education student transportation in FY16 and $ 3.9 million for special education student transportation.

The School District transports approximately 5,800 regular education students and 1,070 special education and pre-K students on a daily basis.

While I understand the challenges of those students and families with “Special education” requirement, the way the system is structured it cost the city $3,644.86 per student. This is just an example of the high cost of Special education and the need for the State to provide more reimbursement to ALL communities.

For the “regular” educated student the City spends $586.21 to transport them.

Separate from the regular day transportation figures above, the School Dept. has budgeted $110,000 for Lowell High School athletic related student transportation to various contests throughout the year.

I don’t know the numbers of students that are transported for athletic events.

The FY16 budget includes a line item for interscholastic coaches at $ 426K, intramural middle school coaches at $ 65K, and student activity advisors at Lowell High School at
$144K. $635,000 Total

I don’t have the number of students that participate in athletics and clubs.

The school department does generate fees (revenue) from building rentals (which is surprising since the City “Owns” the buildings) and I’m told that the revenue is re-invested in the schools (i.e. new bleachers, hardwood floor resurfacing, auditorium lighting and sounds upgrades, etc.).

I just think information like this should be made clear. The public should know how many students participate in these activities. I’m all for supporting sports and activities but how many students of the 14,000 in the School system are using the $745,000 budgeted? We should know this.

In the big picture we are talking about under $1 million dollars out of a $154 million dollar budget but the number of students serviced should be known.

Thanks to outgoing Deputy Superintendent Jay Lang for providing me the requested information.

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