In a report presented to trustees June 10, the district’s business manager, Carol Estes, calculated that it costs the district $251 for each transfer student. But the profit for each student is $1,063.
The $251 cost per student is broken down to include:
•$119 — employee salaries and benefits
•$76 — books, paper, athletics
•$35 — bus purchases
•$16 — utilities, professional developments and legal services
•$4 — teacher and student travel
Of the $251 for each student, the state pays $201 and local funds provide $50, leaving a pure profit of $812 per student.
The report shows that S-TISD receives $6,862 for each student. The cost to educate that student is $5,799, leaving a profit margin of $1,063 for each student.
Estes compiled the report because Trustee Troy Hughes questions whether the district should institute a transfer fee for Beeville students the district buses each day to school.
“A board member was concerned that the district was spending local dollars to the detriment of local taxpayers to educate students from surrounding districts,” explained S-TISD Superintendent Dr. Brett Belmarez.
“Clearly, the report indicates this is not the case,” he says.
The business office has issued similar reports previously, about every five years; the latest was the first report generated since Hughes was elected as a trustee.
“I would say the reaction from the board was appreciative, maybe a little bit shocked,” Belmarez said.
A graph in the report plotting the estimated yearly profits, indexed to the number of transfer students, indicates around 270 students from various districts have transferred to S-TISD, for an annual net profit of more than $220,000.
“Sometimes, school districts get accused of not being good businessmen,” Belmarez says. “I think this report refutes that.”
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.