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View Diary: An incredibly important piece on teaching and education (83 comments)

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  •  I'm glad you've brought that up (3+ / 0-)
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    elfling, Egalitare, Loge

    I did some research on that just last weekend when I was seeing stuff about a voucher program.

    Here's the key: distribution of wealth. Surprise! Keep in mind that that statistic of per pupil spending is for the whole country, but only about 9% of a schools funding comes from the federal government, the rest is from state and local governments. So that per pupil number varies wildly just district to district. A lot of pubic schools are actually quite good, but those schools are pretty much always in an area with high property taxes. For those of us who don't live in Orange or Westchester counties, it doesn't always work out so well. These are the types of places where education is underfunded, and also, wouldn't you know, typically conservative. These are the places with underperforming schools.

    While I've been consistently horrified at our countries education policy, I always took the comparisons with countries like Sweden and Finland with a grain of salt since they are relatively homogenous and small countries. But hearing that China is heavily funding their poorer areas, as logic would dictate, just makes me angrier at the U.S.

    Also, notice that on that state-by-state comparison chart where California is ranked number one for average salary, it's also ranked 44th for how comfortably you can live with that salary because the cost of living is so high.

    •  I think per student spending is a poor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thePhoenix13, Loge

      predictor of outcome. Here in CA, some of the worst school districts have above average per pupil spending (state give more money to poorer school districts). The best high school in Northern CA has below average spending, and also above average class size.

      As I recall, the state with the lowest per pupil spending is Utah - again the correlation with outcomes is not clear.

      •  Per pupil spending (0+ / 0-)

        does not necessarily imply that the spending is spent "on" the pupils.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:43:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bronxville, NY (1+ / 0-)
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      In Bronxville, 86 percent of the typical $43,000 property tax levied by the village goes to the school system.
      A typical teacher with a master’s degree and 30 years of service makes nearly $118,000 today. That teacher is entitled to retire with an $80,000 state pension, or 67.5 percent of his or her final salary.

      It is a good article on the economics of top-end suburban education financing:

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