Monday, April 12, 2004


There’s an excellent article about school finance on the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation’s education website this week:


A quick read divulges some stunners:

-- Education spending has more than tripled since 1960 and that’s after the figures have been adjusted for inflation.

-- Title I funding, the biggest federal grant in K-12 education, has gone up 52 percent since 2001 . . . yet the money is going for all kinds of cockamamie, no-use curriculum based on whole language and whole math.

-- Our international position on educational measures continues to deteriorate despite our status among the top spenders per-pupil in the world.

-- And even the figures bandied about for how much we spend per pupil are exposed as phony. Take operating expenses, the usual figure quoted as ‘’per pupil spending.’’ Now add real costs like school construction, renovation and debt service. Actual spending per pupil comes closer to half again as much as is being reported, or even double.

This is a good article for state legislators, school board members and other decision-makers to read. It’s by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute.

This week on Go Big Ed, we’ll report the major contentions about school finance from this article and see if the evidence of rampant cost inefficiencies are true in Nebraska.

Stay tuned!

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