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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Education Spending: Perceptions Versus Reality

With so much discussion over the South Dakota school funding lawsuit, a report from the Hoover Institute sheds some interesting light on people's perception of what is being spent on education.

A report called "What Americans Think about Their Schools" finds that what people think is being spent and what is actually spent are far apart.

According to the report, across the country per-pupil spending varies from $5,644 to $24,939,with an average of $10,377.

As you can see from the Hoover graph below, guesses were way off. More than 40% of respondents, guessed $1000 or less was being spent per pupil. That's a tiny bit different than the $10,377 national average--even than the $5,644 low end.

That figure of $4,231 would be even farther off, were it not for a small percentage of respondents who guessed extremely high amounts (wishful thinking?).



Maybe if people had a better understanding of just how much is already being spent, there wouldn't be such angst among some for more.

In fact, if people had a handle on must how much overhead there is in the education system and how much wasteful spending their is, they might even call for a reduction in spending until the establishment gets it's act together by trimming the fat and putting more money actually in the classroom.


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