D.C. schools spend huge amounts per pupil, but most pupils failing reading and math


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently released data tells us that Washington, D.C. public schools spent more than $29,000 per student in the 2010-11 school year, which is at least six thousand more than any other district in the nation. New York schools, for instance, were second at $23,966 per student that year.

From CNS News:

…In 2013, fully 83 percent of the eighth-graders in these schools were not “proficient” in reaching and 81 percent were not “proficient” in math.

For years we’ve been listening to the teachers unions and their pals (including President Obama) argue that public schools need more money to reverse the national trend of poor academic performances.

And for years Congress, state governments and local taxpayers have kindly obliged, buying into the theory that money can solve anything. The D.C. schools disaster reminds again about the folly of that argument.

When public schools get increased revenue, a good portion of it is usually spent on higher salaries and more expensive benefits for teachers and other staff through the collective bargaining process. But there’s no guarantee those employees will work any harder or try new things to get better results.

They don’t have to, because most are members of teachers unions that refuse to let them be judged by their classroom performance, and state tenure laws, which frequently guarantee them jobs for life – whether they are good at them or not.

Public schools would have a lot more money to operate if school officials had the power and will to cut down on union labor cost, which can take up nearly 80 percent of school budgets. And students would start learning more if the schools had the power to evaluate teachers based on results and dump those who don’t produce. But to do all of that, the unions would have to go. Just think, we could have public schools where students are the first priority, and labor disputes among adults do not interfere with learning.

Authored by Steve Gunn

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