Posted by: crudbasher | December 9, 2010

Is the Golden Age of Education Spending Finally Over? – Yahoo! News

Really interesting story here from Time magazine.  It is an opinion piece about how the public education system is in for a day of recogning very soon.  I saw this one coming last year when the stimulus was passed.  Many states were woefully short on revenue and were in danger of having to cut their budgets for education. Instead the federal government borrowed 787 billion dollars and gave a 100 billion to the states for education. In fact most of the stimulus went for propping up state governments.  Of course, things have not really improved this year so now the states have to finally deal with these problems.

One state that did start to deal with this issue is New Jersey.  Now I know Gov Chris Christy is not very popular with many teachers but he does seem to be trying to get the budget under control.  History will judge his efforts.  How many other states are working on this?

Necessity is the Mother of Invention right?  Therefore this budget problem will finally force schools to think about how to efficiently do what they do.  The current model is just not sustainable, nor is it effective.

Now my take on all this is as an outsider.  I teach at a private college, not public education.  I am interested in hearing other people’s take on this.  Please feel free to comment below!

  • Interesting story highlighting some problems with funding the public education system

    tags: education funding

    • As America starts to grapple with its out-of-control spending habits, we as a nation really should reckon with our education costs. Few federal education programs were targeted by President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, but that’s because most school funding comes from the state and local levels. And that’s where the big-time money problem is.


    • In 1970 America spent about $228 billion in today’s dollars on public schools. In 2007 that figure was $583 billion.


    • some of the increase can be traced back to growing enrollments, better programs, and improved services for special-education and other students, but much of the increase is just a lot of spending without a lot to show for it.


    • given all the various pressures on state budgets (including our aging population, health care costs and the substantial obligations states and school districts owe for pensions and benefits), the golden age of school spending is likely coming to an end.


    • calculations of how much money is spent at each school often do not include teacher salaries, which account for the majority of spending. These practices further mask the ridiculous spending inequities that exist within many states, leaving poor students – who need more resources – with less than the wealthier kids nearby.


    • Elementary and secondary education remains one of the last industries relatively untouched over the past few decades by productivity increases from new technologies. Schools still operate pretty much the same way they did when our parents were student. In fact, rather than becoming more productive, the opposite has happened in education: over the last 30 years, public schools have focused on strategies that decrease productivity.


    • For example, while the private sector gets more work out of each employee, schools have hired more and more teachers to bring down class sizes even though the research is crystal clear that other reforms pack more bang for the buck.


    • There are some promising productivity initiatives underway. Rocketship Education, a charter school network in California, uses a blend of technology and teaching, with students taking some classes online and some in traditional classrooms. Its schools are getting good results at substantially lower costs.


    • my organization, Bellwether Education, found that the approximately $100 billion sent to schools as part of 2009’s stimulus bill mostly reinforced the status quo rather than driving any reform.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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