Americans want to spend more on education — until they find out how much is being spent, write Jay Greene and Marcus Winters in the New York Post. Then, most say it’s enough.
Almost half of those surveyed (48 percent) estimated that public schools spend less than $5,000 per pupil. Nearly 3 in 10 Americans think that public schools spend between $5,000 and $10,000; only 14 percent believe that schools spend over $10,000 per student.
Total spending per student, including capital costs, is close to $10,000, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The pollsters, using a conservative figure for spending (leaving out capital costs like construction), told people in their survey that that public schools spend between $7,000 and $9,000 per student. Once they heard that, 62 percent said that amount should be enough.
Spending per student has doubled over the last 30 years in real dollars; achievement has leveled off. Greene and Winters want advocates of increased spending to name the dollar amount that would be sufficient to do the job rather than just asking for “more.”