Buying brains

Wyoming, which had a $1.8 billion budget surplus last year, is investing its natural gas windfall in schools with hopes of being number one in the nation in education. Don’t count on it, writes Matthew Ladner of the Goldwater Institute, who’s mean enough to cite Jethro of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Wyoming’s real spending per pupil almost quadrupled before the gas windfall and was already among the highest in the nation. But Wyoming doesn’t score much better on the NAEP than Utah, despite spending almost twice as much per pupil.

This will be an interesting experiment: How good will Wyoming get with virtually unlimited education spending?

About Joanne


  1. Nothing new about this and no points Matthew Ladner for his prediction.

    This experiment was done at the behest of a federal judge who showered so much money on the Kansas City school district they had, difficult as this is to believe, a tough time spending it fast enough.

    Did that help? Yeah, if you think fabulous facilities and highly-compensated teachers is a step in the right direction. But test scores remained right where they’d always been.

    So predicting that boosting spending state-wide in Montana isn’t going to result in much in the way of better-educated kids comes under the heading of belaboring the obvious. Seers out to be a trifle more adventuresome.

  2. Make that “state-wide in Wyoming”. Sheesh.

  3. Wayne Martin says:

    > Jim McBride, the state’s superintendent of
    > public instruction, has offered some rather
    > startling predictions saying, “We probably
    > will have the nation’s No. 1 graduation rate,
    > maybe college attendance rate. We probably
    > will have the highest NAEP scores.”

    It’s a shame that Education Officials like McBride are not shown the door for spending all this money with nothing to show for it.

  4. Bruce Lagasse says:

    I wonder if this will lead to the situation bemoaned by Washington Redskin owner Jack Kent Cooke about his one-time coach, George Allen: “I gave him an unlimited budget, and he exceeded it.”