Nationwide, more money does not equal better education

August 25, 2011

Education

Nationwide, growth in public school spending hasn’t led to significant academic improvement. What it has led to is more teachers and administrators.

In our recent story “Miss. school choice,” the MBJ highlighted information from the Mississippi Center for Public Policy that shows that over time more money has been added to the state public school system, but student achievement has not improved significantly.

WORLD magazine has highlighted a similar situation in Texas:

The state of “Texas now employs nearly as many full-time public-school employees who don’t work in a classroom as those who do — 326,812 compared to 333,090 in 2010.”

In contrast to the education establishment’s assertion that reduced spending will jeopardize education, “Rob Eissler, the Republican chairman of the Texas House’s Public Education Committee, says, ‘There’s 40 years of data showing that increased spending on education has not moved the dial on average student achievement. Yet our behavior has been that if we just put more money into school they’ll improve.’”

WORLD also cites Cato Institute data stating federal spending on k-12 education rose 133 percent from 1970 to 2006, yet scores of 17-year-olds on the National Assessment of Educational Progress are virtually unchanged.

Increased spending could be helpful if more of it were earmarked for teaching. See MBJ Dec. 5, 2010,  story, “More expense on classroom instruction = better student education.”

A Stennis Institute study has shown that Mississippi public school districts spending higher percentages of their budgets on classroom instruction tend to have students who perform better on standardized tests.

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