Wednesday, April 23, 2003


Doug Kagan of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom reports that he is conversant with Sen. Maxwell's plan to equalize state aid to education in the same lump sum per pupil statewide, and is willing to work with him on the idea.


On the other hand, balance and equity in spending per pupil across a state has gotten a big, fat thumbs down in Hawaii.

Fans of Maxwell's plans ought to take note.

According to an article, "The Death of Public School" in the May 2001 issue of the magazine "Honolulu," Hawaii is the only state with a centralized school district offering universal free public education and the same amount spent per pupil, using state employees in a system that allows very little local say-so in any aspect of operations.

How is it working? Well, 71 percent of public school parents graded Hawaii's schools a "C" or worse; fewer than 2 percent gave them an "A."

The national publication, "Education Week," ranks Hawaii seventh from last in terms of a number of performance measures.

Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress are below the national averages, as is the average SAT score of 995 (in 1999), vs. the national average of 1016 that year.

Even though school spending increased by 34 percent after inflation between 1986 and 1996 and stands as one of the highest spending levels in the nation, the longer students are in the Hawaii public school system, the worse they do on standardized tests compared to their age peers nationwide.

"Equity of funding is a farce," one state representative is quoted as saying.

Consider the subheads in the article:

Government, Not Public, Schools

Equity? Ha!

Inefficient, Ineffective

What Money?

Not a Happy Place

No One Is in Charge

Guild Protection

They've Got the Power

The Alternatives



Charter Schools

The article's conclusion: "The state can't do the job. We've given it more than 40 years to try. Now it's time to kick government out of the public schools."

Those who think Maxwell's plan might take politics out of education might want to study this article.

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