As a person that pays property taxes, you may or may not know where your money is going. For many of us, it is not much of a concern so long as our trash is picked up, our water is running, and our streets are plowed. However, what you may not know is that the majority of your property tax money goes toward your local schools. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, roughly 38% of property tax dollars are spent on education. This is higher than Medicaid, corrections, transportation, and public assistance combined.
There is no doubt that education and our schools are immensely important. A thriving society relies on the overall contribution of those it is comprised of. When it comes to education, Waukesha County is serious. Schools in Waukesha County have a lot to be proud of. They consistently rank very highly when it comes to test scores both at the state level, and nationally. According the Public Policy Forum, 93% of Waukesha County students are proficient or advanced in reading. To put this into perspective, the national average for students proficient or advanced is 32% according to National Center for Education Statistics, 2000.
What may also impress you about Waukesha County, in addition to their achievements, is how they have accomplished their success. Municipalities of Waukesha County have relatively low taxes comparatively speaking. Waukesha County has been able to maintain consistently high academic success without resorting to absorbent costs. On average Waukesha County spends $10,788 per student each year according to a 2009 report released by PublicPolicyForum.org. The average in southeastern Wisconsin is $11,107 and the average cost per student nationally is approximately $10,000 on average depending on various sources referenced. Although Waukesha is slightly more costly per student than the national average, their standardized test scores are considerably more impressive. From a business standpoint, it is easy to argue that Waukesha County earns a high return on their investment.
Brian A. Peters, M.B.A., M.S.A.
Tags: brian peters, community development, community resources, high standardized test scores, living in waukesha, Property Taxes, Waukesha County, waukesha county school percentiles, waukesha county schools, waukesha school statistics, wisconsin school district