schools have long been a favorite example of
those who exhort us to "invest" for the common good.
"Invest" is a euphemism for "spend". "It's in
the public interest", they assure us. It's for the kids!
United States is a big-time spender on education. Total expenditures for public
elementary and secondary education alone are approaching $336 billion for
2000-01 (National Center for Education Statistics ). Education has become the
largest single spending category in all the states (National
Conference of State Legislatures 1996).
Nationally between 1960 and
Elementary and Secondary
expenditures (in dollars adjusted for inflation) rose from $75b in 1960 to $330b in 2000.
Per pupil expenditures (in
dollars adjusted for inflation) trippled to over $8000.
dropped steadily from about 25 to 15.
does this investment buy us? Nothing. Achievement
trends 1966 - 2000 :
Center for Education Statistics 2000)
And how does the U.S. compare
According to the National
Center for Education Statistics, "The evidence
suggests, in general, that students from the United States have fared quite
poorly on these assessments, with their scores lagging behind those of students
from other developed countries."
If you what to know how far
if the kids don't benefit, how can this massive, ever growing
"investment" be so confidently declared a "common
If the kids don't benefit from all those regulations and all that tax and spend,
just whose common good is the money for?
How can the pervasive notion
that the government works for us because the government is by, for, and of the
people explain these schools? Do "we the people" want the expensive
under-performing schools we are forced to send so many of our children to? If
not, why do they exist? And who do they really exist for?
Does it have to be this way?
Must there be a government run school monopoly? Should there be a government
monopoly? Can there be schools without government agencies operating
"Since the average
annual spending per pupil in public schools is nearly $10,000, and the average
spending per pupil in Catholic schools is approximately $3,200, taxpayers would
see immediate tax relief."
If Catholics can do it, can't others do it
too? Remember, some of the best schools in the country operate with no
government controls. How can this be? Don't forget, some of the worst schools
in the country operate under complete government control. How can that be?