Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Medium Sized School District Budget Analysis Over Time: A Case History of the Hoboken School District 2006-2012

As part of an article I am writing for publication, I have done some historical analysis of the budgets for the Hoboken School District in Hoboken, NJ. I was the Assistant Superintendent there for a few years. To make the analysis a little more informative, I ran two separate sets of graphs. One for "current dollars" (current at the time of the budget proposal) and another set on "inflation adjusted dollars" (I used a government website and calculated to 2010 dollars, the most current available). I believe the graphs are informative and give a clear view of a small/medium size district's budget over the course of a number of years, administrations, and economic conditions.

Analysis: When you look at the "Six Years of Budgets for Hoboken Board of Education- Adjusted for Inflation" graph one thing that strikes most people is how fairly stable and unchanging the budget has been over the past years. Make particular note of the "Hoboken Levy" (
RED) as well as the "Total Operating Budget" (GREEN) and "Total Hoboken BoE Budget" (BLUE). Notice when you look at the graph titled "Six Years of Budgets for Hoboken Board of Education- Not-Adjusted for Inflation" there appears to be much more of an increase in the budgets. There certainly is an increase in real dollars but we always need to remember dollars are situated in a time period. Even these days with fairly low inflation, over the course of 6 years, inflation does contribute to "real dollar increases" for similar type services.

There are other complex relationships I will be looking at for the article and will share them on this blog as they are available. I will also be using some of these graphs for a graduate class I am planning on teaching this summer.


Picture: The Space Shuttle Endeavour blasts off on her final flight as seen by Stefanie Gordon (credit: Stefanie Gordon via Twitpic)

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