This includes all expenditures related to transporting students to and from school. Compensation for supervisors, bus drivers, monitors and mechanics fits here, as do expenses for vehicles, fuel and equipment. This category can also include subsidies that schools pay to parents to transport children to and from school.[30]

In 2010, as Graphic 21 shows, the rural locale group had the highest per-pupil transportation expenditures ($484), followed closely by the city locale group ($475). Per-pupil transportation spending was somewhat lower in both the town and suburban locales — $422 and $415, respectively, in 2010.

At $580 per pupil, the remote rural subgroup spent the most of the 12 subgroups on transportation, but DPS increased this per-pupil spending by the largest amount from 2004 to 2010 (40 percent).[*] Most of the 12 locale subgroups increased per-pupil transportation spending by more than 10 percent over this period. The fringe rural and fringe town subgroups increased per-pupil transportation expenditures by 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively, and the midsize city subgroup cut these expenditures by about 2 percent.[†]

Graphic 21: School District Student Transportation Expenditures per Pupil by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 21: School District Student Transportation 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

In 2010, the rural group devoted a larger part of its operational spending — 5 percent — to student transportation than did districts in the other locale groups (see Graphic 22). In three of the four major locale groups, the proportion of operational expenditures spent on student transportation decreased from 2004 to 2010; the portion in the town group remained essentially the same.

Among the subgroups, the midsize city subgroup decreased this transportation share the most — an 18 percent decline. The remote town subgroup increased the portion of operational expenditures dedicated to transportation by 9 percent between 2004 and 2010, the largest percentage increase of any locale subgroup.[‡]

Graphic 22: School District Student Transportation Expenditures as a Percent of Operating Expenditures by Locale Group, Michigan, Fiscal Years 2004-2010

Graphic 22: School District Student Transportation 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 47.

[†] See Appendix B, Graphic 47.

[‡] See Appendix B, Graphic 48.


[30] “The National Public Education Financial Survey Instruction Booklet,” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), 57-58, http://www.ped.state. nm.us/div/fin/school.budget/dl08/recFinalReports0607/NPEFSManual.pdf (accessed March 22, 2011).