Fixing NYC schools

Spending more money in the same old way won’t improve New York City schools, writes education economist Eric Hanushek in the New York Sun. The courts have settled the “adequacy” lawsuit for $1.93 billion, an extra $1,800 per student.

Extensive evidence indicates that falling back on the old standbys of smaller classes and higher pay for teachers will not, by themselves, yield significant improvements in student outcomes.

New York City already spends more per students than three-quarters of states.

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Comments

  1. New York City already spends more per students than three-quarters of states.

    Kind of a useless comparison, though, since the cost of living in NYC is so high.


  2. Kind of a useless comparison, though, since the cost of living in NYC is so high.

    Fair enough. How ’bout this (State Data):

    New York State Population: 19.25M (2005 estimate)
    5-18 year olds: 23.8% – 6.5% = 17.3%
    17.3% of 19.25M = 3.33M students of school age population

    From: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36000.html

    New York State spends ~$41.2 billion per year for K-12 education.

    From: http://www.bcnys.org/whatsnew/2005/0317schoolspend.htm

    New York has 475,942 students in private schools

    From: http://www.capenet.org/facts.html

    So … 3.33M – 475K = 2.855M public school students age 5-18

    41.2B/2.85M = $14,400/student

    Is $14.4K/student a reasonable amount to spend for K-12
    education in New York (State … I’m assuming/hoping that
    New York City isn’t below the state average)?

    With a student/teacher ratio of 13.3, this works out to
    about $191K/classroom.

    Is an additional 10% enough? Or 20%? Or 100%?

    Comparisions between states are often invalid because of
    cost-of-living issues, but we can always look at the raw
    numbers. I don’t live in New York. Is almost $15K/student
    enough to pay for a reasonable education there?

    -Mark Roulo

  3. wayne martin says:

    > useless comparison, since the cost of living in NYC is so high.

    If the point of the education system is to hire a lot of people, regardless of the outcome, then maybe the comparison to other states isn’t helpful.

    However, if the goal is to spend the least amount of money to provide the highest quality education for the students, then it is very useful.

    Over-staffing occurs wherever labor unions are involved. Rework the education delivery model, and the amount of money needed to provide education will be drastically reduced.

  4. New York also spends more per student then any other major metropolitan area none of which, it should be noted, do particularly well district-wide.