This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Override Fact of the Day: Education Spending

After the circus-like events of this past week, and with just ten days left until the June 3 special election on the override, we are going to help ramp up the final week of the campaign by highlighting one fact a day in support of the Override.

Today is a look at spending on education in Beverly compared to other local communities.

According to the Massachusetts Dept. of Education’s 2007 figures, Beverly's per pupil expenditure was $11,210.67, which is below the state average of $11,864.91. Beverly spends less than Salem ($13,665), Manchester/Essex ($12,865), Lynn ($12,220), Chelsea ($12,199), and Hamilton Wenham ($12,100).

Here is how Beverly stacks up overall:
  • SALEM: 13,664.55
  • MANCHESTER ESSEX: 12,864.89
  • LYNN: 12,220.90
  • CHELSEA: 12,198.27
  • HAMILTON WENHAM: 12,100.27
  • ROCKPORT: 12,099.20
  • MALDEN: 11,712.65
  • NEWBURYPORT: 11,457.72
  • BEVERLY: 11,210.67
  • PEABODY: 11,202.30
  • SAUGUS: 10,824.92
  • DANVERS: 10,556.12
  • IPSWICH: 9,734.19
  • MIDDLETON: 9,347.15

According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of School Finance, Beverly's average teacher salary was $44,337 in FY 2007, significantly below the state average of $58,188 as well as LAST among surrounding communities. The chart below shows relative teacher salaries in all area towns and cities:

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