CELEBRATING THE PEOPLE, PLACES AND CAUSES OF THIS UNIQUE COUNTY
The complexities of school funding. BY KASIA PAWLOWSKA
THERE’S A REASON teachers are adamant about attendance beyond missed educational opportunities — empty desks equal dollars lost. ADA (average daily attendance), which is
» Teacher Salaries: $8,034
different from enrollment, is a key number that determines how
much money districts get from the state. ADA is calculated by divid-
ing the sum of attendance by days of instruction, which means if a
student misses nine days during the 180-day school year, the dis-
trict loses 5 percent of the money a student with perfect attendance
would deliver. That makes attendance especially important for about
half of the Marin County districts that are state-, not tax–, funded.
State-funded districts receive the bare minimum amount of money
and must still cover teacher salaries, operational costs and so on.
Why the discrepancy? It has to do with taxes. Funding relies heav-
ily on local property taxes, which differ from district to district.
School districts in areas with plenty of tax revenues, like Sausalito
and Bolinas-Stinson, get to keep the surplus tax money, while state-
funded districts like Novato and Ross Valley have to be more prudent
in regard to supplied funds.
» Instruction-Related Services: $1,531
» Facilities: $1,281
» General Administration, Ancillary Costs,
» Pupil Services: $916
» Other: $293
Based on ADA (average daily attendance), 2015–2016