Money and Learning – A Disconnect?

The folks over at EAG are keeping me thinking these days, but as I don’t have time to write for free while I try to meet bills by getting paid to write, I will just pass this nugget along to you from them.  They reference in the post where you read the actual study, but they break it down pretty well.

I have been saying all along, it is not how much money you have to educate with, but what you spend it on…



More on Government Excess, School Style…

I posted awhile back on my own mental math regarding public expenditures on education.  It got a little discussion on Facebook when a friend posted it there.  I have recently read Salman Khan’s new book (of Khan Academy fame) on education and he makes a very similar point, but with perhaps more specifics to it.  I will post a whole group of posts about this book soon; this is just a teaser.  I just don’t understand how so much “investment” can result in so poor a performance.  Were it a private business, its doors would be closed.

“At roughly $10,000 per student per year, the average American school is spending $250,000-$300,000 per classroom of twenty-five to thirty students.  Where is that money going?  Arguably, most of it should be going to teachers; but that isn’t how it works.  Teachers’ salaries are a relatively small part of the expenditure.  If we generously put a teacher’s salary and benefits at $100,000 per year – teachers in most of the country make far less – and the cost of maintaining a 1,000-square-foot classroom at $30,000 per year (a figure comparable to leasing high-end office space), we still have $120,000-$170,000 for each classroom to be spent on “other stuff.”  This other stuff includes things like well-paid administrators, security, guards, and well-manicured football fields – none of which have a direct role in students’ learning.” (p. 120)