Do schools have enough? K-12 funding across the country

Published: Monday, Jan. 28 2013 9:25 a.m. MST

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As school districts across the nation scurry to find funds for the coming year, state lawmakers are trying to balance budgets and meet K-12 education needs.

The national average class size is about 21 students, and the nation spends more than $800 billion on education yearly; that's about $7,700 per student. The U.S. spends more on education than other major nations including Canada, France, Japan and the U.K.

Despite the high spending, American children rank lower than these other nations when it comes to test scores and retention rates.

With more anticipated federal budget cuts, most states are sacrificing higher education and other budget areas in order to focus more funds on K-12 education.

We've analyzed data from all 50 states and compiled a list of state class sizes, annual spending and K-12 education budget information.
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Carolyn Sharette
Sandy, UT

This is a useless list. It gives no way to do meaningful comparisons. The author listed per pupil funding in just a few states, and no numbers on funding in many states.

A meaningful list would haven been:
1. funding per pupil in each state
2. student achievement on the NAEP for each state
3. class sizes in that state

This would have demonstrated, clearly, that funding does not determine student achievement, nor does class size.

Then, organizing the list into the lowest funded and highest achievement would have put Utah on top, which is what our constituents needs to see. Our teachers and schools do an amazing job with the resources they have.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

If Utah has 22.8 students per class and we pay around $6,000 per student and we pay $40,000 to the teacher. Let's see 22.8 X $6,000 = $137,000.00. $137,000 - $40,000 leaves $97,000. Some of this goes to maintenance, capital expenditures for new buildings, and administration. I wonder what these would amount to in a private school, a lot less I would suggest. When I was a boy 75 years ago plus 2/3 of the school money went to the teachers. They do the work. Now it seems to be more like 1/3 of the funds. Maybe we could pick up a few dollars by reducing administration expenses. Maybe we could cut the red tape a little. The best solution would be vouchers. Give a $5,000 voucher and you save $1,000 per student.

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

So...if we look at Nevada, and Idaho, and a number of the other states that allow gambling and lotteries that supposedly benefit the education system so much, why is it that their schools are still struggling so much? Hmmm... Seems like we ought to keep that in mind when the next referendum to allow lotteries comes up here (since it seems to surface every few years...)

A lot of these school systems are plagued by bloated salaries at the district level. Administrators in many of these school districts are making well into the 6-figures while their teachers make next to nothing, often digging into their own pockets for school supplies. That's where education reform needs to start...

worf
Mcallen, TX

Bloated salaries at the district level? Billions wasted on standardized testing which does nothing to improve teaching, and learning.

Share one football field among three schools, and allow local businesses to donate money as a tax write off. Further, use parents as volunteer workers.

Yes, we can save a ton of money if effective budgeting is in place.

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