[Vision2020] Selling Our Children Short

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Apr 8 15:03:48 PDT 2008

This was contributed by a caring friend who considers public schools as a 
much needed resource for our future and not a liability to our 
present . . .


>From Western Progress at:



Selling Our Children Short

Census Bureau Release: Public Schools Spent $9,138 Per Student in 2006

Census Bureau’s 2006 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data

On April 2, the U.S. Census Bureau issued a new report on elementary and 
secondary education spending across the country. Much of the West ought to 
be ashamed.

The three worst states in the U.S. when it came to per pupil spending in 
the 2005-6 school year are all in our region: Utah ($5,437), Idaho 
($6,440), and Arizona ($6,472). Nevada, at $7,345, ranked as the sixth 
worst. Three other Rocky Mountain States fell below the national average 
of $9,138: Colorado, New Mexico, and Montana.

Wyoming was the sole western bright spot. With per pupil spending of 
$11,197, it ranks as 10th best in the U.S.

With many states facing budget crunches, it's unlikely that things will 
get better any time soon. One example: the Idaho legislature adjourned on 
Wednesday after failing to approve a $60 million teacher merit pay plan by 
state schools Superintendent Tom Luna.

In Arizona, rather than attacking the problem, some legislators are 
attacking the messengers. They want to set up a state committee to 
evaluate rankings. According to the East Valley Tribune, state Sen. John 
Huppenthal's bill would set up a committee "to compile rankings of states 
by education quality and residents' wages and evaluate them to determine 
where Arizona truly stands." Sen. Huppenthal might be interested to know 
that the Census report cited above already does rank based on personal 
income. Under that view, Arizona is only 6th worst in the U.S. rather than 
3rd worst.

All of our states have pressing spending needs, and the end of the real 
estate boom and the crisis in credit markets make it more difficult to 
justify budget increases of any kind. But it's hard to think of a higher 
priority that public education.

Maybe Utah, Idaho and Arizona should set a modest goal for next year: 
spending more per pupil than Mississippi.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom "Public School Educated" Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

This message was sent by First Step Internet.

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list