Will more TAXES and NEW BUILDINGS improve learning?
During Governor Gregoire’s term, state spending on education increased 32% without improved outcomes. Governor Gregoire reflected:
“I came in here determined to make the system work better. To invest more money. I put a lot more money into K-12. But then you sit there and say “Why have I not been able to get the result I set out out to achieve?”
Education Spending: Spending “More for the Kids”
Using U.S. Dept. of Education data, a 2014 study, State Trends: Academic: Performance, found an average 300% increase in per-pupil spending (inflation and cost adjusted) nationwide, in the last 40 years, without improvement in student outcome. Nationwide, evidence shows a 3% drop in verbal and mathematic skills.
- In 1985, a federal judge asked the district to bring Missouri’s Kansas City Schools into compliance and meet national norms.
- The judge demanded the state and local taxpayers pay for the district’s “cost is no object” plan.
- The Kansas district spent $2 billion in 14 years for their dream district.
- The district built 15 new, state of the art schools, spending approximately 30% more on constructing than nearby districts. The district, provided a teach-student ratio of 15 or 16 to 1 (lowest ratio nationwide), a robotics lat, a 25-acre wild life sanctuary, planetarium, a computer for every student, built an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
- The district added an all-day kindergarten, before-school and after-school programs for older studnets, hired Russian born teachers to teach physics, sent students on field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The list of best of everything goes on and on.
- Yearly, test scores showed no change. In 1997, the judge concluded that the $2 billion produced neither improved test scores on standarized tests, nor any measurable change in student outcomes.
- Judge Clark concluded “there is a great deal of poor teaching and little learning in many schools.”
More spending does not remedy educational deficiencies because the solution runs ever so much deeper than funding. When we begin reversing big government education and fifty years of American cultural decline, we will begin to see learning advancement in our schools.