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Spending Outside the Classroom: An analysis of support services costs in Milwaukee County's suburban school districts

In this report, we set the stage for discussion of service sharing in Milwaukee County's suburban school districts. Our specific focus is the dollars those districts are spending on out-of-classroom services, including administrative, "back office" functions (e.g. payroll, accounting, information technology); administration of ongoing operations and school buildings; non-instructional pupil services, such as social work and guidance; and instructional staff services, such as curriculum development and staff training. The report collects and synthesizes data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to show the amount of money being spent by each district on support services, and how each district compares to peers from inside and outside Milwaukee County. After considering this picture, we briefly explore the types of non-instructional service sharing already occurring in Milwaukee County's suburban districts, and offer insights into where additional exploration may be merited.