Sunday, March 05, 2006

Myth: Schools Need More Money

The refrain from teacher's unions and politicians "we need more money to educate the children" is not only dishonest, it's just horse puckey. John Stossel's report on public school financing discloses the real numbers and immediately was personally attacked by the unions. Instead of debating the real issues, personal assaults have become the norm:

"Stossel is an idiot who should be fired from ABC and sent back to elementary school to learn journalism." "Stossel is a right-wing extremist ideologue."

So there you have it. What else do you need to know? Stossel is an idiot. No further discussion allowed. And to buttress their position, they simply ignore the facts:

Many such comments came in after the National Education Association (NEA) informed its members about the special and claimed that I have a "documented history of blatant antagonism toward public schools."
Then they pull out their "trump card" with a childish approach:

The NEA says public schools need more money. That's the refrain heard in politicians' speeches, ballot initiatives and maybe even in your child's own classroom. At a union demonstration, teachers carried signs that said schools will only improve "when the schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

Boy, it's sure hard to argue that point! Bake sales for the military. Deep thinkers, they.

So, here are the real numbers:

The truth is, public schools are rolling in money. If you divide the U.S. Department of Education's figure for total spending on K-12 education by the department's count of K-12 students, it works out to about $10,000 per student.

Think about that! For a class of 25 kids, that's $250,000 per classroom. This doesn't include capital costs. Couldn't you do much better than government schools with $250,000? You could hire several good teachers; I doubt you'd hire many bureaucrats. Government schools, like most monopolies, squander money.

America spends more on schooling than the vast majority of countries that outscore us on the international tests. But the bureaucrats still blame school failure on lack of funds, and demand more money.

There's more. Read the rest here.

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