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NY Spends over $30k Per Pupil And Still Can't Teach Most Students How To Read

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  • NY Spends over $30k Per Pupil And Still Can't Teach Most Students How To Read

    Way past time for School Choice.

    N.Y. Can't Teach Kids To Read on $30,000 a Year

    Inflation-adjusted revenue per student in public schools is up 68 percent in the Empire State—and 24 percent nationally—over the past two decades. Time for School Choice.

    One of the perennial defenses of mediocre public K-12 schools is that they just don't have enough money to work with. Liberal groups like The Center for American Progress routinely put out videos like this one denouncing the "underfunding of K-12 schools" that call for more and more money to be spent.

    I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase the underfunding of schools, my head explodes. Not because I dislike kids or public schools; my two sons exclusively attended public schools. What gets my goat is the demonstrably false idea that schools are being starved for resources. Tax revenue per student in public K-12 schools is up 24 percent nationally over the past two decades, and that takes inflation into account.

    In New York, where I live, real per-pupil revenue has increased by a mind-boggling 68 percent between 2002 and 2019. Public schools in the Empire State are now shelling out more than $30,000 per kid. That's more than double the national average, and it doesn't even include the $16 billion extra that New York's system got in combined federal and state COVID-19 relief funding.

    Yet New York's public schools are still as terrible as the Mets, the Jets, and the Giants, with only a third or fewer of students up to grade level in eighth grade reading and math, according to their scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), widely considered the gold standard for judging school outcomes. Those scores aren't much different than they were 20 years ago.

    In fact, $30,000 a year puts the lie to the argument pushed by unions and progressives that more money will fix schools. More money hasn't helped the rest of the country boost their scores either. According to NAEP, whatever minor improvements in reading and math that were made for students ages 9 and 13 since the early 1970s have flattened since the early 2000s. We're paying more for the same results.

    None of this is a mystery. The connection between bigger spending and good outcomes is weak at best, whether we're talking about comparisons among U.S. states or international ones.

    Certainly the new money for New York hasn't gone to fundamentally reform what gets taught, or how, or under what circumstances. According to a report on spending trends in the 21st century by my colleagues at the Reason Foundation (which publishes this website), overall teacher compensation is way up in New York, especially when it comes to benefits like health insurance and pensions, which have grown by 147 percent. Nationwide, a dozen states increased spending on benefits for teachers by over 100 percent and only three states kept the increase below 10 percent. Costs for things like administration, support staff, and transportation are up another 24 percent. Just to reiterate: All these figures are adjusted for inflation.

    Dumping more money into a broken system is like trying to fix a leaky pipe by pouring more water into it. What needs to happen is a revolution in how education is conceived and delivered. Over the past 20 years, New York has allowed publicly funded charter schools to operate, which is a good thing because it allows for experimentation while insisting on accountability. Unlike conventional public schools that get students (and funding) assigned to them based on their addresses, charters must attract and keep students in order to stay in business. They start with zero dollars to spend. The best charters have massive wait lists even though they get less money per student than traditional public schools. Charters in New York City, for instance, get about 20 percent fewer dollars per kid than typical public schools.

    But instead of expanding the number of charters, New York, like most states, caps it. According to the state's official data, there are just 359 charters compared to 4,411 public schools. Worse, New York doesn't allow education savings accounts (ESAs), tax-credit scholarships, and vouchers that would allow more families to escape traditional public schools and pick where their kids go to learn.

    Increasing the amount and variety of school choice, though, is exactly what New York and the country need to be doing (kudos to the 18 states that have started or expanded choice programs). We're not going to seriously improve educational outcomes for our kids if we don't fundamentally change how we educate them.

    When you look back 20 years, virtually every other service in our lives—from coffee drinks to media to medicine—has gone through multiple revolutions in terms of what's available and the quality of what's being offered. Everything becomes more geared toward the individual, more responsive, and usually not just cheaper in real terms, but better too. This is obviously true when it comes to things like food and consumer electronics but it's also true of big-ticket items like cars, which cost the same as they did 20 years ago in inflation-adjusted dollars (but are massively superior today). Overall, medical costs are up, but think about how much better the variety and quality is.

    Public K-12 education is among the very few things that is still basically the same as it was when today's parents and grandparents were in school. The only difference is the price tag, which just keeps going up and up.
    https://reason.com/video/2022/01/26/...-30000-a-year/
    "So when you actually get the virus, you're going to start producing antibodies against multiple pieces of the virus. So, your antibodies are probably better at that point than the vaccination."
    - Pfizer Scientist Chris Croce

  • #2
    No surprise to me. As I've said in other threads, my local City School District is a smoking hole in the ground.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

    Comment


    • #3
      How do they use their smart phones if they can't read?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        How do they use their smart phones if they can't read?
        Chat speak, the new English language, the dumbed-down version.
        "What am I doing here?" -- Joe Biden 2021

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seanD View Post

          Chat speak, the new English language, the dumbed-down version.
          They just talk with emojis.


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
            How do they use their smart phones if they can't read?
            Can't read at grade level :D

            Comment


            • #7
              But if you just keep throwing more money at the problem it is bound to improve sooner or later

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Unions.
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  Unions.
                  Indeed.
                  "So when you actually get the virus, you're going to start producing antibodies against multiple pieces of the virus. So, your antibodies are probably better at that point than the vaccination."
                  - Pfizer Scientist Chris Croce

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                    But if you just keep throwing more money at the problem it is bound to improve sooner or later
                    If you throw it smartly. A fancier looking library isn't better than an old one if they have the same books, so to speak.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                      If you throw it smartly. A fancier looking library isn't better than an old one if they have the same books, so to speak.
                      Money has been pouring into schools non-stop for decades with absolutely nothing to show for it.

                      The fact is that the left likes to pretend that their willingness to shovel money at education willy-nilly without any thought of accountability is evidence of their support of kids and families while those mean ol' conservatives want everyone to just go away and die. But this is far more motivated by funneling money to teacher's unions who then contribute huge amounts back into Democrat coffers[1] than anything else. Am I being too cynical? Then explain if educating children was the goal why do liberals tend to fight tooth and nail against any ideas to improve education that doesn't include massive transfers of money such as charter schools and school choice[2]?

                      Further, if liberal policies are the best way to improve education then why are they the ones overseeing the worst school districts and systems in spite of massive outlays of money? Could it be that after decades of this that we can now conclude that their policies have failed?

                      For instance, I cannot help thinking about how when, back in the mid-80s a federal judge ordered that Billions of dollars be spent upgrading Kansas City's schools. The educrats were giddy with delight. They set about adding enormous gyms to the schools, built an Olympic swimming pool, TV studios, a planetarium, a zoo, and even a wildlife sanctuary. After burning through $2 Billion it was discovered that what they did not get was a single new textbook to replace the worn-out sadly outdated ones they had. And IIRC not a single new teacher was hired although a lot more administrators were[3].

                      Results? The schools got worse. Markedly so. Something like five years later the Kansas City school district failed 11 performance standards and lost its academic accreditation for the first time in the districts history.





                      1. For instance, according to Open Secrets, the American Federation of Teachers donated $7,919,897 to politicians and political groups with $7,888,355 going to Democrats and liberals (99.9%) and $6500 to Republicans and conservatives

                      2. A perfect example of this is what happened at Mollie E. Ray Elementary in Orlando, Florida as the 2002-2003 school year began. The school had received an "F" rating for the past two years (1 of only 10 schools to "earn" such a distinction), as judged annually by the state of Florida so the victims of such failed schools are allowed to apply for vouchers to help them escape. So how did the school react? Vowing to fix the problem? To work on improving education?

                      Nah.

                      To start, students were met by teachers wearing T-shirts proclaiming "F = Fantastic." Getting an "F" grade was now considered a positive thing. The union educrats chose to brainwash young minds with Orwellian double-speak into thinking that flunking is actually a good thing. Then school officials attacked the scores of parents, who did choose to opt out, for "abandoning" their schools in a time of need. Excuse me. Apparently some parents had the temerity to want the best for their children rather than sacrifice them on the altar of public "edjumakatun" and were savaged for it. Still it would have been interesting come Report Card time when the little darlings still stuck in that unrepentantly failed school explained this "F = Fantastic" concept to their parents. Trouble is, too many might fallen for it. Especially those in "blue" districts."

                      3. When I started High School in the 70s it was so overcrowded not only were there nearly a dozen trailers setting in the parking lot being used as classrooms but we had to go in shifts with juniors and seniors going in the morning and freshmen and sophomores in the afternoon. Yet we only had 4 principals. Today, after expanding the building and several new schools being built, resulting in a considerably smaller school population, there are now somewhere between a dozen and 15 principals at my old school.



                      I'm always still in trouble again

                      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        Money has been pouring into schools non-stop for decades with absolutely nothing to show for it.

                        The fact is that the left likes to pretend that their willingness to shovel money at education willy-nilly without any thought of accountability is evidence of their support of kids and families while those mean ol' conservatives want everyone to just go away and die. But this is far more motivated by funneling money to teacher's unions who then contribute huge amounts back into Democrat coffers[1] than anything else. Am I being too cynical? Then explain if educating children was the goal why do liberals tend to fight tooth and nail against any ideas to improve education that doesn't include massive transfers of money such as charter schools and school choice[2]?

                        Further, if liberal policies are the best way to improve education then why are they the ones overseeing the worst school districts and systems in spite of massive outlays of money? Could it be that after decades of this that we can now conclude that their policies have failed?

                        For instance, I cannot help thinking about how when, back in the mid-80s a federal judge ordered that Billions of dollars be spent upgrading Kansas City's schools. The educrats were giddy with delight. They set about adding enormous gyms to the schools, built an Olympic swimming pool, TV studios, a planetarium, a zoo, and even a wildlife sanctuary. After burning through $2 Billion it was discovered that what they did not get was a single new textbook to replace the worn-out sadly outdated ones they had. And IIRC not a single new teacher was hired although a lot more administrators were[3].

                        Results? The schools got worse. Markedly so. Something like five years later the Kansas City school district failed 11 performance standards and lost its academic accreditation for the first time in the districts history.





                        1. For instance, according to Open Secrets, the American Federation of Teachers donated $7,919,897 to politicians and political groups with $7,888,355 going to Democrats and liberals (99.9%) and $6500 to Republicans and conservatives

                        2. A perfect example of this is what happened at Mollie E. Ray Elementary in Orlando, Florida as the 2002-2003 school year began. The school had received an "F" rating for the past two years (1 of only 10 schools to "earn" such a distinction), as judged annually by the state of Florida so the victims of such failed schools are allowed to apply for vouchers to help them escape. So how did the school react? Vowing to fix the problem? To work on improving education?

                        Nah.

                        To start, students were met by teachers wearing T-shirts proclaiming "F = Fantastic." Getting an "F" grade was now considered a positive thing. The union educrats chose to brainwash young minds with Orwellian double-speak into thinking that flunking is actually a good thing. Then school officials attacked the scores of parents, who did choose to opt out, for "abandoning" their schools in a time of need. Excuse me. Apparently some parents had the temerity to want the best for their children rather than sacrifice them on the altar of public "edjumakatun" and were savaged for it. Still it would have been interesting come Report Card time when the little darlings still stuck in that unrepentantly failed school explained this "F = Fantastic" concept to their parents. Trouble is, too many might fallen for it. Especially those in "blue" districts."

                        3. When I started High School in the 70s it was so overcrowded not only were there nearly a dozen trailers setting in the parking lot being used as classrooms but we had to go in shifts with juniors and seniors going in the morning and freshmen and sophomores in the afternoon. Yet we only had 4 principals. Today, after expanding the building and several new schools being built, resulting in a considerably smaller school population, there are now somewhere between a dozen and 15 principals at my old school.

                        Exactly my point. "Throwing money" at a problem doesn't work, if you aren't spending it in the right places. In general, spending money on facilities isn't going to improve much, UNLESS that money is spent on fixing problems that directly impact the learning environment. (i.e. poor heating/cooling, leaky ceilings, etc. that can create very poor environmental factors), at some point with facilities, you reach a point of diminishing returns. Fixing a Gym that's broken down and nearly unusable is one thing. Going entirely state of the art, led screens etc, is an entirely different matter.

                        Unfortunately, I doubt there's exactly a silver bullet. I do believe that nation-wide paying teachers more is an important thing. But that is only to make teaching be a competitive career path, which would then attract more people who want to enter the field. That, however, is a long-term plan, not something that would turn around and create results overnight. Teaching is not a career field I would want to enter, and this is coming from someone who actually WANTED to teach math/science. The pay didn't match the investment. (At one district I looked into the payscale on, a PHD teacher with maximum years of experience capped out at ~55k salary (70k adjusted for inflation). At 55k salary, it's unlikely you'd have a PHD teaching k-12. In contrast, at my job, a BS math student is earning 55k straight out of college, and will reach the 70k comparable within a few scant years.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                          Exactly my point. "Throwing money" at a problem doesn't work, if you aren't spending it in the right places. In general, spending money on facilities isn't going to improve much, UNLESS that money is spent on fixing problems that directly impact the learning environment. (i.e. poor heating/cooling, leaky ceilings, etc. that can create very poor environmental factors), at some point with facilities, you reach a point of diminishing returns. Fixing a Gym that's broken down and nearly unusable is one thing. Going entirely state of the art, led screens etc, is an entirely different matter.

                          Unfortunately, I doubt there's exactly a silver bullet. I do believe that nation-wide paying teachers more is an important thing. But that is only to make teaching be a competitive career path, which would then attract more people who want to enter the field. That, however, is a long-term plan, not something that would turn around and create results overnight. Teaching is not a career field I would want to enter, and this is coming from someone who actually WANTED to teach math/science. The pay didn't match the investment. (At one district I looked into the payscale on, a PHD teacher with maximum years of experience capped out at ~55k salary (70k adjusted for inflation). At 55k salary, it's unlikely you'd have a PHD teaching k-12. In contrast, at my job, a BS math student is earning 55k straight out of college, and will reach the 70k comparable within a few scant years.

                          This was perhaps the last bit of research (looking at the date) that I did for the friend who had a radio show. It is easier to just paste it than recopy everything by hand. I'll note that the average pay for a teacher increased substantially since then going from an average of $44,000/year to $62,870 in 2020.

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's threads like this that don't help my faith and confidence in government any.
                            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                              It's threads like this that don't help my faith and confidence in government any.
                              75095840.jpg
                              We'll make a libertarian out of you soon enough.
                              "So when you actually get the virus, you're going to start producing antibodies against multiple pieces of the virus. So, your antibodies are probably better at that point than the vaccination."
                              - Pfizer Scientist Chris Croce

                              Comment

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