West Jordan Recognizes Remarkable Teachers

Katie Egan

Katie Egan

Lisa Morey

Lisa Morey

They are teachers who go above and beyond for every child, every day and that’s why the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce is saying thanks. The Chamber recently  presented the “Hero in Education” award to a number of Jordan School District educators. Lisa Morey, a literacy and media specialist at West Jordan Middle, was honored along with Katie Egan, a band, choir and orchestra teacher, at Joel P. Jensen Middle. Both teachers were nominated by their colleagues and received a $100 prize to use in their classroom and an additional $75 that will go toward a nice dinner. Congratulations. We are very proud of these teachers who work so hard to make a difference in the lives of young people.

What Did the District Split Cost?

In 2009 Canyons School District split off from Jordan School District. Now, South Jordan City is funding a district split feasibility study. This has many taxpayers asking what were the financial costs to split the District five years ago. Below are the known costs to separate, broken into three areas; one-time costs, tax rates, and administrative costs. Not included, are the human costs (i.e. lost jobs, morale, productivity, turnover, other duplicated jobs, etc.) that cannot be accurately quantified.

Total Known One-Time Costs of the District Split:

Arbitration $0.359 Million
East Side Split Costs Paid by Jordan School District* $6.144 Million
West Side Split Costs Paid by Jordan School District
Legal fees, moving costs, unemployment insurance, etc. $2.926 Million
Computer / Network System $2.797 Million
District Office Improvements to unfinished building $3.739 Million
District Office Rent $1.468 Million
District Office Purchase $9.207 Million
ASB Office Improvements to blighted property $13.493 Million
ASB Office Rent $1.713 Million
ASB Office Purchase $15.3 Million
Transportation Improvements $2.019 Million
Total West Costs $52.662 Million
Total District Split Costs $59.165 Million

* JSD only tracked the first $6.144 million of East Side costs.  Canyons tracked beyond this.

Tax Rates
The chart below shows the history of tax rates before and after the split. After the district split, taxes increased to compensate for the additional costs of operating two districts instead of one.

Tax Rates

It is clear tax rates are higher today in large part due to the district split. Tax rates increased 20.00% for Jordan and 16.75% for Canyons from 2008-09 to 2009-10.  It is difficult to quantify the direct tax impact of the district split due to changes in assessed valuation, student growth, opening of new schools, the county-wide capital equalization program, changes in debt service payments, Canyons successful bond election, etc.

Administrative Costs per Student
The chart below shows the history of administrative costs per student before and after the split.  The chart also shows the combined administrative cost per student for all taxpayers (grey line).

Administrative Costs Per Student

Before the split, Jordan’s administrative costs per student were $540. Since the split, Jordan’s costs have increased to $561, while Canyon’s have increased to $863 per student. The post-split combined costs have increased to $680 per student. The $680 vs. the $540 pre-split represents more than $10 million, which is an ongoing annual cost that increases each year due to the split.

Note: The definition of “Administrative” includes: Board of Education, District Administrators, School Administrators, Secretaries, Clerks, Human Resources, Payroll, Purchasing, Accounting, Communications and Computer Systems.

There are also other new, duplicated costs not included in the chart above in running a district.  These additional costs are found in numerous positions in Curriculum, Counseling, Nurses, Title I, Special Education, CTE, Warehouse, Transportation, Custodial, etc.  

Valley High Career Day Full of Opportunities

Career Day May 2014 572(1)There were opportunities around every corner for hundreds of students attending the Valley High School Career Day. Many students dressed up for the occasion as representatives and recruiters from 65 companies, colleges and trade schools were on hand to help the young men and women learn about jobs and career options. Governor Gary Herbert thanked Valley for hosting the event. In a letter to students Herbert said, “I applaud Valley High School’s commitment to promote your academic and professional success.” You can see a fun photo gallery of this event on our Facebook page. 

Opera By Children a Musical Delight for Everyone

IMG_2111When creative minds and musical talent get together anything is possible. That was proven at several elementary and middle schools this spring as students, teachers, staff and the community came together to put on Opera’s by children. At Majestic Elementary, second-grade students performed ‘Astronauts and Aliens’ to the delight of family and friends. At South Jordan Middle students took the stage in an Opera production called ‘Under the Bed,’ and at Southland Elementary fourth-grade students wrote and performed the opera ‘The Empty Pot.’ Congratulation on a job well-done! Please enjoy a photo gallery on our Facebook page.

District Students Honored at State Capitol

photo 3(2)It was a day to remember for some high school seniors at the State Capitol where they were surrounded by leaders in education and state lawmakers. It was the Leaders and Achievers Scholarship luncheon sponsored by Comcast. Students throughout the state are awarded for outstanding achievement, involvement in school and their community and being role models to fellow students. This year four students in Jordan School District were recipients:

  • Jared Gonzalez, Riverton High, $5,000 Scholarship
  • Anna Galvra, Herriman High, $1,000 Scholarship
  • Hannah Davis, Bingham High, $1,000 Scholarship
  • Yolancee Nguyen, West Jordan High, $1,000 Scholarship

Congratulations to these bright young people and good luck on your next journey in higher education.