“Nearly 50 million students are heading off to approximately 97,000 public elementary and secondary schools for the fall term, and before the school year is out, an estimated $489 billion will be spent related to their education.” ~ US Dept. of Education (Institute of Education Sciences) 2008
That’s $9,780 per student this school-year on average.
“The United States spent the most on education in 2001 at roughly $500 billion, followed by Japan, Germany and France at $139 billion, $89 billion and $82 billion respectively.” ~ Online Computer Library Center
Yet UNICEF has us at 18th out of 24 nations in education rankings as of 2005.
In 2006, the Program for International Student Assessment by the Paris-based Operation for Economic Co-operation and Development placed us (among 15 year olds) at 17th in science and 24th in math. In this study, Finland scored highest, and Mexico placed last.
The former U.S. Secretary of Education, William J. Bennett, said in 1999 that more money to public education has not improved the system’s effectiveness. The chief statistics he used to back up this claim were:
Between 1960 and 1995, U.S. public school spending per student, adjusted for inflation, increased by 212%.
In 1994, less than half of all U.S. public school employees were teachers.
Out of 21 industrialized countries, U.S. 12th graders ranked 19th in math, 16th in science, and last in advanced physics.
So then, can we safely conclude that throwing money at this issue will not improve our standings in the world as far as education is concerned?
On the “Blueprint for Change” website, we see lots of nifty programs (those cost money) and incentives to science and math majors to become teachers (those cost money too). Don't forget as well the inevitable "infrastructure" and "greening" of the buildings themselves that will have to be paid for. The issue is most assuredly being addressed, but by the typical Democrat method of “Throw Tax Money At It!”
As clearly as the facts speak here, don't count on Obama or Congress listening to them anytime soon.
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