Here's some additional information on Wayland's administrative costs, but not yet a firm answer. A May 2007 survey of MA school districts shows FY2008 salaries for central office administrative positions (director and above) for some but not all of our peer towns: Belmont, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston.

  1. Wellesley (4,682 students in FY07): $835k
  2. Belmont (3,811): $814k
  3. Weston (2,401): $749k
  4. Wayland (2,905): $712k

By comparison, DOE lists the following "total administration" costs for these 4 towns.

  1. Wayland: $2,128k (2.99 x central office salary)
  2. Weston: $1,299k (1.73)
  3. Belmont: $1,212 (1.49)
  4. Wellesley: $1,091 (1.31)

I'm still working to understand why the ratio of DOE Admin cost to salary survey cost is so much higher for Wayland than the other three districts.

Several additional considerations when comparing administrative costs.

  • When comparing across districts that don't differ too much in size, the larger districts will have an administrative cost per pupil advantage, since the cost of a particular position (e.g. Director of Technology) will be spread across a larger number of students.

  • Districts with greater administrative longevity will be at a cost per pupil disadvantage, as more senior administrators tend to have higher salaries, all else being equal.

  • Administrator salaries are an "input" measure, not an "output" measure such as quality of education. It's reasonable to pay more if the results are better.

As I learn more about the DOE numbers, I will post in this thread.