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Waste Watch: Reports Show Waste in TN Education Spending

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Nashville, TN - How much money are you spending on education?
   
If your child goes to a public school in Tennessee, it could be costing you more than private school tuition.

And some say the school systems continue to waste that money.

Thousands of your hard earned dollars every year are not even going into the classroom.

That's according to two reports by the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the most recent one released this month.
   
With information mostly coming from the state Department of Education, the Beacon Center claims wasteful and inefficient spending by our school districts is costing us millions and there's a way to avoid it.
   
But metro schools says it's utter non-sense.

The Tennessee Department of education lists more than 8-billion dollars in its 2012 operating expenses.

The Beacon Center stands by its claim that schools are actually spending even more than that in the form of debt services and capital projects to the tune of more than 10,000 dollars per student per year.

And less than 54-percent of that goes toward teacher salaries, books or other supplies.
   
It's a claim that metro schools spokesperson Joe Bass says is an untrue calculation.

He estimates that only 4 to 5-percent of metro school spending goes to the central office.

Meanwhile, the report shows in the midstate, Hickman and Smith counties more than doubled their spending on administration from 2000- 2012.
   
Dozens of school systems opted to give huge pay raises to superintendents.

In the 11-year period, the Metro Schools superintendent's salary rose by almost 123-percent.
   
Sumner County's increased  by almost 81-percent.
   
And Franklin Special School District is paying its superintendent about 80-percent more.

All this with only a 7-percent increase in the number of students.

And the Beacon Center claims the spending that goes with it doesn't even help performance.

The Beacon Center report says legislators have considered an opportunity scholarshp proposal which could cut spending and improve education.
   
Click here to see the TN Beacon Center's 2014 report Saving Education.

Click here to see the TN Beacon Center's 2013 report Following the Money.

Follow Erika Kurre on Twitter @ErikaKurre or on Facebook.