The Coweta County School System has received high marks in the state’s first Financial Efficiency Star Ratings for local school districts in Georgia.
Overall, Coweta ranks in the top 17 percent of Georgia school districts in the new state report, which measures districts’ per-pupil spending in relation to the academic achievements of their students. To view the state’s report, click here.
The Coweta County School System was one of 30 state school districts, out of 180 examined, to receive a four-star or higher rating in the report. Only 9 other Georgia school districts received a higher rating than Coweta’s four-star rating
The rating is based on a three-year average of per-pupil spending, which is then associated with the district’s performance on Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). Each district receives a rating ranging from one-half star to five stars, which measures the strength of districts’ academic outcomes and overall expenditures in comparison with other districts. The ratings are drawn from student performance and financial data from the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 academic years.
Also over the three-year period, the Coweta County School System ranked in the top 30 percent of Georgia school systems in terms of student performance on the CCRPI report, which measures a broad range of student achievement data. Coweta County schools had an average score of 76.9 on the CCRPI report, compared to an average score statewide of 72.74 during the period.
Over the three-year period, the Coweta County school system had average per-pupil spending of $7,579.63. For comparison, the average per-pupil expenditure state-wide over the same period was $8,465.38.
“By keeping spending down while achieving strong academic results, our school system has been recognized for providing Coweta taxpayers with a very good return on their investment,” said Superintendent Steve Barker.
The school system has been recognized for financial stewardship in recent years, including recognition by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts’ with an “Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting” for the last three consecutive years. The Coweta County Board of Education has maintained the same local tax rate – 18.59 mills for operations and and 0.00 mills of debt service – since 2004 (FY2005). The community’s passage of the Educational Special Local Sales Tax (ESPLOST) has allowed the school system to meet capitol project needs while avoiding debt.
The Coweta County School System’s performance on the report is also similar to a 2014 “Educational Return on Investment” report issued by the Center for American Progress organization.
That report assessed the educational productivity of more than 7,000 school districts across the nation by measuring student achievement within a school district relative to its spending. The Coweta County School System received the highest possible ranking in the report for having high student performance on state reading and math tests at all levels, as well as one of the lower per-pupil spending levels in the state. Coweta Schools ranked in the top 12 percent of Georgia districts in the 2014 report, placing the district in the top 20 of 174 Georgia school districts examined.
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