Letter: Important to compare Utah not just by money spent on education, but also by results
Richard Davis is absolutely right that Utah spends the least of any state in the country on K-12 education, per child ("Republicans keep starving Utah public education," March 20). While dozens of other proponents of increasing education spending make this claim about their states, it's actually and exclusively true in Utah.
But just spending less money does not automatically mean you're getting lower quality. If you buy a can of Coke or a heart surgery at half the price someone else pays, it's usually still a can of Coke and quality heart surgery. People and governments waste money regularly. That's why it's important to compare Utah not just by money spent but also by results it gets out of students. On that measure, Utah is doing incredibly well: Its students rank right next to states that spend twice as much such as Ohio, and above states that spend more (such as New York) on nationwide NAEP tests.
Research has consistently shown that increasing education spending does not increase education quality. This is because, as recent Harvard study author Paul Peterson noted, when school districts get more money they are not likely to spend it on what is most likely to increase student learning.
Education research fellow at Heartland Institute, Chicago, Ill.
- Letter: Climate change is unjustified rhetoric
- Letter: We can do better
- John Florez: Teach our children the love of...
- In our opinion: Navajo Nation looks to combat...
- David Butterfield: Utah boxing legends...
- In our opinion: Recent drowning of 800...
- My view: Problems with Rep. Mike Noel’s...
- Jay Evensen: U.S. silence troubling amid...
- Richard Davis: A historic moment for... 60
- Jay Evensen: U.S. silence troubling... 59
- Letter: Fair living wage 33
- Letter: Climate change is unjustified... 31
- In our opinion: Time to separate food... 25
- A. Scott Anderson: Overregulation hurts... 25
- Letter: We can do better 25
- Letter: Pledge for respect 24