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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 377 -- Competitive House Races. | WILLisms.com | Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 79 »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 378 -- Education Spending & Outcomes.

More Spending Isn't Automatically The Answer-

U.S. students perform poorly in math, relative to other OECD nations:


Meanwhile, spending on education in the United States is extraordinarily high, even as a percentage of our #1 GDP in the world:


Indeed, the United States spends plenty on education, according to The Heritage Foundation's Education Notebook:

Annual U.S. Department of Education spending on elementary and secondary education has increased from $27.3 billion in 2001 to $38 billion in 2006, up by nearly 40 percent. According to the department, annual spending on the Title I program to assist disadvantaged children grew by 45 percent between 2001 and 2006. In 2007, the department will spend 59 percent more on special education programs than it did in 2001....

Since the early 1970s, inflation-adjusted federal spending per pupil has doubled....

Under a Republican-controlled Congress, federal spending on higher education has increased almost as dramatically as K-12 spending over the past six years. For example, annual Department of Education spending on federal Pell Grants grew from $8.7 billion in 2001 to $13 billion in 2006, nearly 50 percent growth. The federal government spends considerably more on higher education today than it did during the Clinton administration. According to the College Board, federal funding for higher education in 2004-2005 totaled $90 billion, a real increase of 103 percent over ten years.

An increasing number of students receive federal subsidies for higher education. For example, 5.3 million students received federal Pell Grants in 2005, an increase of 44 percent over ten years. In all, in 2006 more than 10 million Americans will receive various federal subsidies for higher education.

Spending has gone up, up, up, with only marginal and spotty improvements in results:


It seems obvious that throwing money at a problem is not the answer. We need some radical new ideas on education, if we are to remain the greatest country in the world. We need serious education reform, not more of the same. Those ideas are not coming from the teachers' unions.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Competitive House Races.

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 November 2006 09:32 AM


One of the biggest myths in this country is that we don't spend enough on education. If anything, we spend way too much in relation to what we get in return. Countries like Japan, Singapore, and South Korea do much, much better than we do on international tests of math and science, and spend much less per pupil. In the case of Singapore, it's less than half.

But I fear this is a losing battle. The mindset in the U.S. seems to be that we can never spend too much on education.

Posted by: Jason at November 15, 2006 09:48 AM

not fair to post only one year's worth of math score and said the increased in education is ineffective. what has been the recent trend between the two?

Posted by: Huan at November 15, 2006 05:29 PM

Don't forget how much is spent on education even without federal spending.

Posted by: JohnJ at November 16, 2006 12:04 AM

We don't need radical new ideas.

We need to return to the old idea of a classic liberal arts education with strict graduation requirements. Cheaper, straightforward, and effective.

Get rid of any programs that have the word "studies" after them. You know the ones-- Black Studies, Women's Studies, Urban Studies, etc, etc. They're a huge money drain on the system that produces zero serious education.

Return schools to local control, so parents have a say over what their kids are learning.

Posted by: Lugnut at November 16, 2006 06:29 AM

My wife is a high school teacher and my company consults wth school districts. In my mind teacher pay (and hence educational spending) is an issue but for a different reason.

My wife has taught for 30 years. When she started, teachers weren't paid well at all. A person became a teacher as a calling. She wanted to educate kids. Now, being a teacher pays enough that it has begun attracting people who view it as a job not a calling. They show up to draw a paycheck and whine and moan and complain all day long. The student's education is the last thing on their minds.

Here in our little school district (we aren't a rich state and we have a decent cost of living,) a starting teacher fresh out of college at age 22 makes $31,956.00 for 190 days of work; a daily rate of $168.19. This district has a policy that states that teachers are required to be at school for 7 hours and 40 minutes a day measured from whatever time they are required to report in the morning. For instance, if their day starts at 8:00, they can leave at 3:40. Now, by law, 30 minutes of that 7:40 is set aside for lunch. They cannot be asked to do anything during their lunch period without additional compensation. Another 40 mintues of the 7:40 is what is known as "planning time." Again, this is time where the teacher has no students and the school is not allowed to ask the teacher to do anything. All this means that the effective teaching time for a teacher is 6 hours and 30 minutes a day. This makes the effective teacher's pay fr a starting teacher $25.88 an hour.

Now, the argument can be made that teachers also have to do work at home in the form of grading papers which is a valid argument. If you add an additional 1.5 hours a day for grading and bring the number to an even 8 hours a day, you find that the pay is still $21.02 an hour, and remember, this is for a brand new teacher with no experience.

I'm sorry. People can makes lots of arguments about lots of things regarding education, but teacher pay isn't one that will fly with me.

Posted by: Steve L. at November 16, 2006 07:58 AM


Those are great ideas. And they are also radical ideas to the "education establishment" in this country.

Posted by: Will Franklin at November 16, 2006 10:50 AM

Too many years of social promotion and political correctness at the expense of basic education has led US to this point. Unfortunately until America's education elites can pass a simple test like the 8th Grade Final Exam from Salina, KS in 1895 we're not likely to make any progress. I think it's fair to say 8th graders a century ago were better educated than most, if not all, of today's college graduates for nowhere near the kind of money we spend today. Perhaps we need this sort of standardized testing for our academic professional certification.

ref: http://people.moreheadstate.edu/fs/w.willis/eighthgrade.html

Posted by: Imust B Crazy at November 16, 2006 11:19 AM


Posted by: jonny at November 17, 2006 02:17 AM


Posted by: jonny at November 17, 2006 02:17 AM