Sunday, October 20, 2002

Can OPS Avoid the Great Paradox of Education Spending?

Nebraska ranks 10th among the states in a ranking of academic achievement done by the American Legislative Exchange Council . . . but ranks just 32nd in per-pupil spending, according to the same group.

That's a typical example of the paradox of education spending: people believe that more money creates better schools, but when you look at the data, you see that it doesn't.

Most of the highest-spending states in the nation are nowhere near the top in the academic achievement rankings, the ALEC study showed. None of the 10 states that increased their spending the most over the past 20 years ranked in the top 10 in academic achievement. Neither did any of the 10 states that cut their pupil-to-teacher ratio the most.

More money and smaller class sizes may make good campaign rhetoric . . . but they don't really improve school quality or educational achievement, the facts show.

Are you listening, OPS voters? This is just one more reason to vote "no" to the spending-lid override that will be on your Nov. 5 ballot.

When you follow the money, you find that more of it doesn't produce better schools. Hope OPS voters recognize that and save themselves many millions of unnecessary dollars come Nov. 5.


Source: "Report Card on American Education: A State-by-State Analysis," downloadable from http://www.ALEC.org

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