The SPASH Budget and Why Some Departments Receive So Little


Jackson Barber, Hour 1

Have you ever wondered why the music department is so small while other departments at SPASH have really grown? You might say it’s because of the spot the music department has been put in but you might also consider the fact that the music department also has a very small part of the school’s budget. Other departments have received large amounts of money because of the necessities for certain parts of their curriculum. The budget for SPASH can be confusing to look at however so this article is meant to break down the overview of SPASH’s budget and why it’s so tiny in some departments

How The District Gets Their Budget To Share

According to a District budget pamphlet given to me by Mr. Vollendorf, SPASH’s budget usually varies on its students and how many the school has. Since students graduate there are times when students come in and don’t fill in the number that was once there. Since the end of the 2020 school year, the budget has dropped 7.4% each year bringing our total net budget to $121,630,881. 

According to a pie chart in the District budget pamphlet, 43% of the budget is spent on salaries and 19% is used for benefits using 62% of the budget. Our purchased services such as fuel for busses, speakers, student tuition payments, and more take another 18% of the budget. So in a matter of time, 80% of our District budget has been used in planning the year in these major categories. 

Why Certain Departments Get More Money Than Others

If the budget is split among schools and SPASH has such a high budget for its departments why are some so cheap while others receive most of the budget? The first thing that is needed to be considered is the need for certain materials in a course or subject. Take science or woods/metals classes for example. These classes use the most money from the school budget, disregarding athletics, because of the materials and chemicals the courses may need.

Some Departments like the music department make so little money and haven’t changed for years and some people wonder why. According to Mr. Vollendorf, “When you talk about physical things like furniture, that’s different from the chemicals we need in science because furniture is something we hope will last longer so that goes into what we call our capital budget.” The capital budget is used for certain items like desks, chairs, and other things. Most of the items in the music department fall under the capital budget more than our main budget.

A Change of Scenery

Some people might look back and wonder why spash looks nearly the same way it did when it was first built including the departments and layout. The main reason for this doesn’t really fall underneath the school budget but, according to Mr. Vollendorf, “Physically we can’t expand our choir room. We are kinda landlocked with some of our storage.” From the way SPASH has been built, there’s almost no room for any more improvements around spash or any way to expand since it’s been surrounded by parking and sports practice fields.

Just because of the tight space SPASH is in though according to Mr. Vollendorf “There’s a lot of areas that would be, are likely overdue, for refurbishment, kinda a do-over.” Already the great school it has been named over the years SPASH could be even greater if it had the room to expand. However, with no room, the departments aren’t given a chance to expand and some will stay small while others are a bit larger with more benefits than others.


Our school budget can get a little confusing from time to time on how it works and why it isn’t distributed more equally throughout the departments. However, it does have a purpose for why it’s distributed the way it is and why some are as small as they are. Just because some of the departments aren’t as thriving as others doesn’t mean they aren’t good classes to take and should be disregarded. If you get the chance maybe check out the other departments and what they have to offer. No matter the budget electives are still important classes to think about.