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Let's Design A School, Part 1

For comparison, Baltimore City public schools have a budget of $1.7 billion and about 78,000 students, or about $21,800 per student (although it’s reported that they only spend $16,370 per student; I’m not sure where the discrepancy comes from). Also note that, in Baltimore City’s budget, they report spending about 1/3 of their budget on support services, as opposed to instruction.

most of the time if you look close there is an * on official $/child stats, which excludes buildings, 'long term' costs(bond repayments), and cross-government payments(school/district/state resource sharing and budget games). 

It is convenient when requesting increased funding from voters to be able to use a 25-35% lower number and pretend that everyone implicitly knows you are excluding all facilities and 'fixed' costs ofc :/ 

recommend skimming your local district's annual superintendent report sometime. Balance sheet totals/student  are a fun one in appreciating property markets ;)