Recall Group "Misinformative" Graph

Summary: The Recall Group published the below graph. After analysis, we discussed the graph and our findings with the recall group's creator. Other than disagreement over the lack of comparability of enrollment and levy per student, there were no other comments.


This point of lack of comparability is CRITICAL because it is the point of implied misrepresentation of what's going on.


Findings


1. VISUAL MISREPRESENTATION. Enrollment and Levy/Student and not comparable.

  • There is nothing to review with the enrollment.

  • Cost/student (or levy/student) would not double if students double.


Hypothetical to reveal flaws in logic:

  • If enrollment doubled, the WI State funding formula would not double MTSD's levy/student.

  • Similarly, with double students, actual costs would not double. Costs are mostly variable (salaries/benefits, buses).

  • So, if changes in students does not impact cost or levy/student, the graphs are not comparable.


2. IGNORING THE IMPACT OF REFERENDUMS. Levy/Student is the sum of the operating levy (controlled by the State funding formula) and referendum increases. Without the referendum increase in 2020, the 21% levy/student becomes 16%.

  • It would be more accurate to compare Levy/3YR Average Students, since that is what the Levy is based upon.


3. CHERRY-PICKED NUMBERS TO TELL THE WORST STORY. Numbers provided are a 6 year lookback from the 2021-2022B year. 21% is the high point since the 2012-2013 school year. The information accompanying the graph states it was a 5-year average.



4. DISTORTION OF RESULTS OVER TIME. 21% represents a 3.2% increase/year (the average increase per year is 2.5%, excluding the referendum).




As always, if anything here is misrepresented, misstated or miscalculated, please let us know immediately so it can be corrected. In@InformMT.org .





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