The District of Columbia spends $15,000 per student but gives only a $7,500 voucher to private schools that take low-income students, reported John Stossel in an education special. Not true, say Stossel in a correction. D.C. spends $28,000 per student, four times the average $6,620 voucher.
The $15,000 number, which comes from the the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Census, excludes major K-12 spending, Cato’s Andrew Coulson told Stossel. “DC has split up its education spending into seven different budgets, all of which go to k-12 public education, but only one of which is called “the DC Public School budget.”
The real figure? $26,000 for each student signed up at a DC public school. $28,000 for each student who actually attended. Some might say that’s an unfair number because it includes special education students that the private schools supposedly won’t take. But even if you drop the costs of special education students, DC still spends $23,000 per kid.
. . . Oh, and the $7,500 for voucher schools? Turns out that the average voucher school only charges $6,620 (many are Catholic schools.) So they cost a quarter of what public schools do, but still they do better!
Coulson invites skeptics to look at the spreadsheet.