We are constantly bombarded with pleas for more money for education. After all, it’s for the CHILDREN. They DESERVE a good education. MORE MONEY is the answer.
Sadly, more money is not the answer. Locally, Milwaukee Public Schools shows us exactly why money is not the problem. The district increases total spending nearly every year. If you look at the spending on a per student basis, the spending increases are staggering. In an 8 year period, MPS increased per student spending by over 56%. At the same time, less than 1/2 of 10th graders were able to read, and less than 1/3 of 10th graders were able to do basic math.MPS is currently spending more than $16,000 per student. Area private schools are getting better results, and spending only $5,000 to $8,000 per student.
This is an excellent graph showing how more federal spending doesn’t improve educational results:
And this graph shows how total education spending (local, state and federal combined) does not improve results:
Spending increased dramatically, yet test scores essentially stayed flat. (I realize there are people who think test scores are meaningless. I say that they’re one of the few ways we have to judge the effectiveness of our educational system. Until we have a better tool to measure education, test scores will have to do.)
The article featuring these graphs is eye-opening. The big increase in school spending just increased the number of employees.
John Stossel suggests eliminating the U.S. Department of Education all together, and says it’s ridiculous for the federal government to take money from the states, launder it, and return it to the states.
Clearly, SOMETHING needs to change.