DES MOINES, Iowa — A new report from the Auditor of State Office found that the belief that public schools’ administrative costs have ‘ballooned’ in recent years wasn’t true in Iowa.

According to State Auditor Rob Sand, a common statement he heard while at townhalls across the state was that public schools were spending too much money on administrative costs. As a result, the Auditor’s Office investigated public school districts’ spending on administration related costs from FY2017 to FY2022. This is the first report in a series as a part of the Auditor Office’s Public Innovation and Efficiencies (PIE) program.

The report found that the per pupil administrative spending statewide has actually declined when adjusted for inflation, -0.9%, over the past six years. It also found that the percentage of new spending going towards admin costs was consistent over time, ranging between 7.8% and 8%. On average administrative expenditures made up just 7.9% of new spending annually.

State Auditor Rob Sand joined WHO 13’s Erin Kiernan to explain what he and his team discovered about public school spending.