The Oregon Department of Education recently issued its report “An Annual Report to the Legislature on English Language Learner, 2014-2015” (my overview here). In it, Portland Public Schools is listed as spending $73,769 more on English Language Learners than it receives in state School Fund ELL revenues.
There are lots and lots of issues in the counting of ELLs and in the financial accounting of educational activities serving them. Here are three I want to ask:
(1) The ODE report show PPS as having 3,988 “Current ELL Count” (2014-15). The ODE State School Fund data (below) shows PPS with a “General Purpose Grant per ADM” of $6,949. 50% of $6,949 is $3,988.50. $3,988.50 times 3,988 is $13,856,306. That is $2,061,577 more than the reported $11,794,729. What explains the difference? Is PPS really spending more on ELLs than it receives, or not?
(2) In the ODE report, expenditures on ELLs are divided into two categories. Statewide 92% are “Function 1291” expenditures and 8% are “Area of Responsibility 280” expenditures. PPS made 100% Function 1291 expenditures and no Area of Responsibility 280 expenditures. See the two charts below. What does this mean?
(3) Are the costs of dual language immersion programs for ELLs accounted as expenditures on ELLs in this ODE report?