September 19, 2015 by JImbo
Education is important, right? We can agree on that. The Founders sure did!
However, the meme going around quoting Ben Franklin is especially ironic given his propensity for thrift and savings. He knew the value of a dollar and wanted to see it spent WISELY.
So then this came out in the paper the other day:
That is TWICE the national average.
In fact it’s more than nearly any other country in the world.
And look at the bottom.
Spending correlates badly with actual results. There is a small correlation with spending and results statistically at the bottom, but at under HALF of what we spend now it effectively becomes pointless to spend more.
That is why other states who spend FAR less than New York have similar or HIGHER test scores.
Consider how much we have spent on education since 1970.
Do you see any improvement in test scores? If anything science went DOWN!
(The results continue badly from 2010-2015, but I couldn’t find a chart of them. You can go look them up for yourself if you really want to dispute me on that point.)
Spending is NOT the answer. We don’t lack money. We lack EDUCATION in our schools. A factory that doesn’t make anything is a failure no matter how much you pay the employees. Likewise, a school that doesn’t educate children is not a school. It is a day care center.
We can do more with less. In fact, the article says that over 54% of the spending comes SOLELY from local property taxes. We could ONLY fund NYS schools with property taxes and still spend $1,000 more than the national average!
Now there’s a thought. We could stop paying for all the bureaucrats in the Federal and State “Dept of Education” and save money in the process. If we simply paid for schools at the local level (as we used to) the cost would drop in half and we’d get at LEAST the same scores as now.
Plus, we’d save that other $10,000 a year per pupil. Now if we put that into individual student trust fund accounts for college… I think I just solved that problem too.
Or, we could just give New Yorkers back that extra $10,000 and that would be an extra $130 a month or so to feed their families. I could sure use an extra $130 a month that is now going to pay for basically NOTHING if test scores are any judge.
What’s that the United Negro College Fund used to say? “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”? I agree. The only reason we are spending so much and getting so little for it is simple ignorance of the public. Throwing more money at a problem only makes things worse.
As Ben Franklin also said:
“Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything.”
What would he say today about spending so much money and getting so little results? Fewer than HALF of many of the students in those very high-spending schools even GRADUATE! How can we call that “success?” Old Ben would be rolling over in his grave!
Then again Mr. Franklin also said: “It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service.”
How many folks today would agree that 10% taxes is a “hard government?”
Heck just the sales tax alone in NYC is 9%, not to mention income tax, property tax, school tax, corporate taxes, etc.