This category includes spending for district-level management, such as the expenses associated with boards of education, superintendents and other executive administrators, and community, state and federal relations services. Spending on legal services, union negotiations, elections, tax assessments, public relations and seeking and applying for state and federal grants are accounted for here.[25]

Per-pupil expenditures for general administration reverses the pattern seen with student support services and instructional staff support services. The rural locale group spent the most per pupil on general administration — about twice that of the city locale group (see Graphic 15). Additionally, per-pupil general administration spending grew for the town (9 percent) and rural groups (8 percent) from 2004 to 2010, while it fell for the suburban group (3 percent) and increased only slightly for the city group (2 percent). In fact, city districts on average spent the least in this area — $126 per pupil in 2010.

Graphic 15: School District General Administration Expenditures per Pupil by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 15: School District General Administration
Expenditures per Pupil by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010 - click to enlarge

Source: Local Education Agency Universe Survey; Michigan Department of Education, Data for National Public Education Financial Survey

Within the 12 subgroups, the midsize city subgroup reduced per-pupil spending on general administration the most from 2004 to 2010 — expenditures dropped from $128 to $102, a 20 percent decline. The midsize city subgroup also spent the least of the subgroups by this measure in 2010. DPS increased general administration spending per pupil by 46 percent from 2004 to 2010, the most of any subgroup. The fringe town and remote rural subgroups also significantly increased this per-pupil spending, by 13 percent and 16 percent, respectively. The remote rural subgroup spent more per pupil ($402) than any other locale subgroup.[*]

General administration makes up a relatively small portion of district operational spending in all locale groups — less than 3 percent for the four major locale types (see Graphic 16). The portion of districts’ operating expenditures consumed by general administration decreased for city, suburb, town and rural locale groups from 2004 to 2010. Suburban districts averaged the largest decrease — about 15 percent. Among the subgroups in 2010, the remote rural subgroup devoted the largest portion of operational spending to this category (3.8 percent), while the midsize city subgroup spent the least, at less than 1 percent. Only DPS increased the portion of its operating expenditures dedicated to general administration (12 percent) from 2004 to 2010.[†]

Graphic 16: School District General Administration Expenditures as a Percent of Operating Expenditures by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 16: School District General Administration Expenditures as a Percent of Operating Expenditures by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010 - click to enlarge

Source: Local Education Agency Universe Survey; Michigan Department of Education, Data for National Public Education Financial Survey


[*] See Appendix B, Graphic 41.

[†] See Appendix B, Graphic 42.


[25] “The National Public Education Financial Survey Instruction Booklet,” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), 54, http://www.ped.state .nm.us/div/fin/school.budget/dl08/recFinalReports0607/NPEFSManual.pdf (accessed March 22, 2011).