“About 40 percent of the state’s general fund goes to education. In each two-year budget cycle, about $15 billion goes toward the education of Washington’s 1 million school children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Washington ranks 42nd in the nation in the amount of money per child the state spends in the classroom, according to federal statistics.”
Forty percent of the state general fund. That doesn’t count all the local levies and bonds that property owners get hit with. And federal funding.
Dorn said that since nearly every state is facing a budget deficit, if Washington simply leaves education spending where it is, the state could move up in the rankings.”
Dorn seems to have bought into the idea that more money spent automatically translates into more educated children. This fits in perfectly with the fact that he was endorsed by the Washington Education Association and other public school employee union groups. The unions always support more education spending. It means salary and benefit increases based on tenure and the number of degrees a teacher has rather than on merit and more money in union coffers for their political maneuverings.
According to the Heritage Foundation:
“With Congress considering a $700 billion rescue package for our financial market, taxpayers are rightfully asking questions about how these funds will be spent. But all too often we forget to apply the same scrutiny to the nearly $600 billion we spend in state and federal dollars each year on K-12 education.
Any fair accounting should conclude that we’re getting sub-par returns on this investment.
While many of the nation’s best and brightest go off to pursue fulfilling educational experiences at colleges and universities across the country, significant numbers of students leave high school with gaping holes in some fundamental academic concepts.
National test scores reveal that many students are failing to master basic skills. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 33 percent of fourth-graders score below basic on reading, as do 26 percent of eighth-graders. According to the Department of Education, fourth-graders not performing at a basic level are unable to make general conclusions about what they read. At the eighth-grade level, this means students are unable to make simple inferences or interpret ideas. For both grade levels, these are crucial skills to master to ensure future academic success.”
Future liberals are being produced in our public schools today–people unable to make simple inferences or interpret ideas fall for the kind of media snow-job that happened in the 2008 general election.
“National graduation rates have stagnated around 73 percent, with numbers significantly lower for minority students. In 2006, only 61 percent of Hispanic students and 59 percent of black students graduated. An independent analysis found that, in some of our nation’s biggest cities, fewer than half of all students finish high school. In the Baltimore City and Cleveland Municipal City school districts, only about one-third of all students graduate. Indianapolis has a graduation rate of only 30 percent, and a mere 24.9 percent of Detroit students complete high school.
These shockingly low graduation rates should incite a national outrage. And while some politicians will surely call for investing more tax dollars for public school as the solution, a lack of funding is not the source of the problem.
Detroit, for example, spends more than $13,000 per year on each student. In addition, the city school districts of New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta all spend well over $10,000 per pupil yet have graduation rates below 50 percent.”
Read the full Heritage Foundation report What Is America Getting from Its Investment in Education?. They make the case that education spending is not the problem and that family structure and parental involvement are critical elements to education success.
It’s time for Washington State to break the link between school spending and student achievement. Randy Dorn, the people of Washington State are already over taxed. If we keep throwing money down the black hole of government-run education and never fix the significant flaws in the system, it will never get better. The superintendent of public instruction should be accountable to the people of Washington State but with this guy, I fear he’ll be more interested in keeping in favor with the unions.
Schools need to focus on the basics of education–things like math, reading and comprehension, writing and interpreting ideas, fact-based science and American history, just to name a few. I want to know how much time and money is spent on social engineering and nanny state benevolence versus what is spent on teaching concrete, useful skills. We need more genuine teaching and less of the schools assuming the roles and responsibilities of the parents.