Those on the left (Democrats) say that spending has been inadequate for decades and depends on local levy’s. (Those are the same people who ran the legislature for decades) Republicans say that there has been an effort in recent years to increase the spending. As we write this article both parties are warring…with the left wanting a capital gains tax, carbon tax, income tax (to name a few of their proposed new revenue sources) while the Republicans say that spending can be managed without any increases.
So…let’s take a look at some graphics and see how we can analyze the information to see what it tells us. Ready?
This chart shows the period of 2005 projected through 2021 (using the Republican proposal). This would represent approximately a doubling of the amount spent per child. Is that enough money?
This chart shows that funding increased from $13.4 billion to $18.4 billion in five (5) budget cycles.
This chart shows all States through 2013 (that was the last full data set available). Washington State spent 92% of the national average but scored in the top 15%. You can read more about this in our blog article: http://www.swweducation.org/?p=3939
This chart says that from 1996 through 2014 Washington State spending lagged the national average by $4 billion per year. (Some quick math says this works out to ~$4,000 per student per year depending on the student population numbers used per year).
What this chart does NOT do is show the high to low. The low-end is about 1/2 the spend per student per year that of those who spend the most. So the “average” is not a number which has any validity. Indeed, the test scores (which you can see in the chart above) make it clear that expenditure has NO correlation to test results.
When we look at the amount spent per student on a global basis by country (using 2009 data) the U.S. was #2 with test results that put us near the bottom. So, again, money spent is NOT relevant to outcomes and results.
- Using an average as a comparison is biased because it assumes higher spending = better results
- Spending more money does NOT assure that results will be better
- Whether money comes from the US Dept of Education; State coffers and local taxes it still comes from taxpayers.
- Something beyond money drives student success…could it be parental involvement, attention, support and expectations?