Think public schools need more money?
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:10 PM
Then skip the latest column from John Stossel:
Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, writes that out of 14,000 school districts in the United States, just seven have cut their budgets seven years in a row. How about five years in a row? Just 87. That's a fraction of 1 percent in each case.
[U.S. Education Secretary Arne] Duncan may be pandering to his constituency, or he may actually be fooled by how school districts (and other government agencies) talk about budget cuts. When normal people hear about a budget cut, we assume the amount of money to be spent is less than the previous year's allocation. But that's not what bureaucrats mean.
"They are not comparing current year spending to the previous year's spending," Coulson writes. "What they're doing is comparing the approved current year budget to the budget that they initially dreamed about having."
So if a district got more money than last year but less than it asked for, the administrators consider it a cut. "Back in the real world, a K-12 public education costs four times as much as it did in 1970, adjusting for inflation: $150,000 versus the $38,000 it cost four decades ago (in constant 2009 dollars)," Coulson says.
Taxpayers need to understand this sort thing just to protect themselves from greedy government officials and teachers unions.
» Return to posts for September 15, 2010
» Return to the Locker Room