Where the money goes

“Inflation-adjusted federal per-pupil spending (part of the goal of which was to narrow achievement gaps) has nearly tripled” since the 1970s, but the gaps remain, writes Heritage’s Lindsey Burke on the Daily Signal.

Schools are employing more adults — especially more non-teachers — per student.

School funding declined in 2012 for the first time in 35 years, reports the Census Bureau. New York was the top spender, at $19,552 per pupil, while Utah spent only $6,206.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. So when did the United States start spending as much on the education of poor students as it spends on the education of wealthy students? The answer is never. Public schools in the United States have always spent less educating poor students. This is unusual. Most developed countries actually spend more on educating poor students.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      “So when did the United States start spending as much on the education of poor students as it spends on the education of wealthy students? The answer is never. Public schools in the United States have always spent less educating poor students.”
       
      There was a local attempt by the Kansas City, Missouri School District in the 1980s and 1990s. This paper describes the not-so-successful results:
      http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html
       
      Possibly they just didn’t spend enough money. Or maybe this needs to be done on a larger scale (entire state, possibly?)… but this appears to be a legitimate attempt to spend more money on poor students than on rich ones.

      • The per pupil spending for the entire district did increase but the money was not focused on poor students.

        • Mark Roulo says:

          The district was mostly poor students. The goal was to attract non-poor students by flooding the district with money.

      • The idiot federal judge in this case required the state to spend 2 BILLION dollars in that district, and it wasn’t enough to stop the downturn, due to white flight, and other issues.

        I remember a piece on 60 minutes years ago, and it was laughable.

        Throwing more money at a problem doesn’t solve it, just look at the obamacare mess. :)

  2. The data needs to be broken down further. In NY, the per pupil includes the special education and transportation costs for private school students. My district spends app $19000 on special needs per pupil, $8000 on non special needs per pupil.

    Per the Citizens Budget Commission:
    •The percentage spent on fringe benefits including pensions and health insurance in New York is much higher than the national figure – 20 percent compared to 13 percent. This amounts to a per student cost nearly three times the U.S. average – $3,688 versus $1,330. In New York City, a district in which most employees make no contribution to their health insurance premiums, the fringe benefit costs per pupil reaches 24 percent

    • Crimson Wife says:

      Yes, it’s mostly special ed spending driving the growth of non-teaching staff.

      If my youngest child were a general ed student, she’d be in a kindergarten classroom with 32 kids and 1 teacher next fall. But because of her autism, she’ll be in a class with 12 kids to 1 lead and 2 assistant teachers. Plus she’ll be getting speech therapy twice per week, social skills training from the school’s psychologist, and consultations from the school’s occupational therapist. If she has difficulty learning to read, there is a reading specialist on staff who could work with her. All of this is very, very expensive.