School funding canard: Money isn't the answer
For all the empty rhetoric during state elections over public school funding and demands for more money, a Cato Institute analysis provides a fresh perspective on the correlation between state spending and SAT scores over the past 40 years.
And that correlation? There is none — certainly not one that suggests more money is the answer to improving student achievement.
Overall, SAT scores declined on average by 3 percent from 1972 to 2012 while inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending more than doubled, according to the report, “State Education Trends.”
Despite a “torrent of (technological) progress, education has remained anchored to the riverbed,” the report states.
Moreover, during multi-year school funding declines in Alaska, California, Florida and New York, none saw noticeable declines in SAT scores.
And while Pennsylvania ranks near the top among states in per-pupil spending, students score worse on average on the SAT today than they did in 1972, notes Elizabeth Stelle of the Commonwealth Foundation. This, when the newly minted state budget sets a record for public school funding — $10.04 billion, which is $290 million more than the prior year.
What's sorely needed isn't a larger check from taxpayers but a better check on school spending with an eye toward advancing school choice and, with that, the benefits of competition.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama’s problem: He denies reality
- Armstrong County Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: Cruel civilities
- Messrs. Tremba, Haggerty & Molinaro: Connellsville mourns
- The DEA scandal: Larger issues
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- The minimum wage: Theaters at stake
- Not even a ‘trickle’ of sound economics
- At the Supreme Court: No fishing
- Sunday pops
- Wolf attack: Reckless words against UPMC