Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cost of Public Education

Ben Cunningham has a very illuminating chart at his site about the rising cost of public education vs. the cost of oil which he got from Carpe Diem . We're all complaining about the price of gas but we really need to take a hard look at our education dollars.

Carpe Diem's Mark Perry writes in the comment section:

The comparison is between: a) real spending/price to educate one student in a public school and b) real spending/price to purchase one barrel of oil. Even without using oil as a comparison, we can still say that REAL spending to educate one student in a public school has increased by a factor of 10.
Since World War II, the real price per public school student has increased by almost 40% each decade. My point was that rising oil prices get a lot of media attention, even though real oil prices are the same today as 1980-1981. During the same period, the real price per public school student has doubled, and receives significantly less attention in the media.
It gets significantly less attention because we're wrongly shamed into silence. To look at the dollars and ask if we're receiving a good return for our money is forbidden. It's for the children, you see. Some would deny us the right to question how this money is spent as if because it's for children it's not possible that's it's being misspent or could be better spent. A 10 minute conversation with a teacher, an aid or even a bus driver will reveal plenty of waste. Likely it will also provide some legitimate insight into how that money could be better spent.

Here's another chart. This one compares dollars to ACT outcome. MNPS is wildly out of line.

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