The Value of Education
White Oak ISD
Recently there have been several articles on the topic of the cost of Public Education. I wanted to take the time to write this entry in the White Oak Independent and give the taxpayers some information about the cost of an education at White Oak ISD. It is no secret that the faculty, staff and administration at White Oak feel that our students are receiving a quality education that will be beneficial in the work place or as they continue in their academic endeavors. White Oak ISD is the only TEA Recognized School District in Gregg County. Our high school students score above the state and national average on both the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. We have graduates the have excelled at colleges and universities of all sizes. One of our graduates just completed an internship with the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
All of our extra-curricular programs are successful and give our students an opportunity to pursue interests outside the 7.5 hour school day. Fine Arts (Band, Choir and Drama), Athletics and UIL Academics give our students multiple choices to enhance the lessons taught in the classroom. Our students understand words like podcast, blogs, wikkis and can produce outstanding work at all grade levels.
All of this information is important to consider when talking about the cost of the education provided by your public school system. Now, here are the numbers. White Oak has an annual operating budget of $10,478,499 and an enrollment of 1390 students.
$10,478,499 divided by 1390 students = $7,538.49 per student/per year
$7,538.49 divided by 180 Instructional Days = $41.88 per student/per day
$41.88 divided by a 7.5 hour school day = $5.58 per student/per hour
At $5.58 per hour, the taxpayers of White Oak ISD are getting a great deal of “bang for their buck”. Transportation, maintenance, food service, custodial service, administration and all the instructional costs are included in the $5.58 per hour price tag.
There are those in the community that have expressed a concern about the amount of money spent on athletics at White Oak and other schools in the area. The athletic budget is $538,255, including all employee stipends and the salary of the Athletic Director. That amounts to 5.1% of the total budget. If you add Fine Arts and UIL Academics, the total is 8.7% of the total budget. To turn that figure around, 91.3% of the White Oak ISD Annual Budget is not related to extra-curricular activities. Once again, I would say that the return on our investment as taxpayers is very high. All of our teacher/coaches and sponsors teach, including our AD. White Oak ISD Athletic Director is the only teacher/coach or sponsor that receives a salary for extra-curricular duties. Everyone else is paid a stipend for their assignment. The best part is that these individuals are Master Teachers and they do an outstanding job in the classroom.
I hope you have found this information informative and useful. The theme at the high school this year is “Be a Difference Maker”. That is the most rewarding thing about education. We have the opportunity to “Be a Difference Maker” in the lives of young people every day. White Oak ISD is an outstanding place to live and work. You can have the best facilities, the most money and the latest/greatest equipment, but if you don’t have great students and great teachers, you can not have a great school. The students, faculty and staff at White Oak ISD are the reason for our high level of success and outstanding reputation. Thank you for your support of all that we do and I hope that when you are asked about the cost of public education you can say, “We’re getting our monies worth in White Oak!”