More Education for our Dollars, Not More Dollars for Education
Tom Jenney, Arizona Director of Americans for Prosperity, wrote an article which appeared in the July 6, 2015 edition of the Arizona Republic.
Follows are some excerpts. Click on the title My Turn: Increasing spending hasn't brought an increase in achievement to read the full article.
According to Jenney,
"If the average school district limited capital spending, maintenance, administrative overhead and other programs to 33 percent ($78,000), it could allocate $78,000 for the salary and benefits of a good teacher in each classroom, and still allocate another $78,000 to pay an instructor to work with the special education students in each classroom.
"Back in 2000, Arizonans were forced to pay higher sales taxes (through Prop 301) to support education. The result was a significant increase in per-pupil spending. But two bad things happened after Arizona passed Prop 301.
"First, we failed to get a greater proportion of funds into our classrooms. According to the state auditor general, a smaller fraction of money goes into the classroom today than before Prop 301. Second, we have nothing to show for all that money in terms of student performance.
"There are proven ways to improve school performance, but they do not involve giving more money to mismanaged school districts.
"School choice exposes government-run district schools to vigorous competition by allowing families to take their per-student resources to the schools of their choice. In response to competition, districts need to put schools under independent management that has the power to immediately pay good teachers what they're worth, fire clock-punchers and excess administrators, and stop wasting money on projects that don't directly impact classroom learning."