At Division of Labor, Craig Depken finds a 100-year-old New York Times editorial on:improving public schools.
We have an abundance of suggestions for improving our public school system…What are the real evils? One of them is a lack of sufficient classrooms and teachers. This is an evil which can be cured in one or two years whenever the people of this city [New York] wish to do it. I know the answer. Lack of money! Taxes, taxes! Surely school hoiuses (sic) cost money, but they are profitable investments – profitable for the city as a whole, I mean. They save expenses for police, and for paupers; they increase the efficiency and earning capacity of the citizens and make the city a more desirable place to dwell in…
Let the city provide school rooms, sufficient in number and suitable in situation and arrangement; let the city provide a teacher for every thirty pupils enrolled, then it will have a right to expect results and not till then.
I wonder what New York City spent per student in 1906 adjusted for 100 years of inflation.