Spending on Education Rises in USA without Results

There are not many areas for common ground between Republicans and Democrats but the importance of the education system in the US is perhaps one of them.  Spending on education in the USA has increased dramatically over the last few decades but there has been little increase in standards to justify this expense.

The cost now of the US education system is over $600 billion a year, a rise of 350% and yet achievement levels have barely changed.  There are numerous suggestions about how you can spend so much extra for so little gain but a definite theme across all of them.

school-costs

Not enough of these education dollars actually get into the classrooms. Bureaucracy and administration is where a lot of it ends up, paper work and form filling costs money but does little to benefit our children.

There are always going to be additional costs in education, but there is little excuse for inefficiency.  Costs have been sky rocketing in areas like energy and transportation with little benefit to the education of our children.  There are signs of change however – Pennsylvania saved over $7 million by introducing a variety of energy saving measures like turning off lights, lowering shades installing thermostats and other fairly basic measures.  Other states have cut similar amounts from transportation budgets by amalgamating their transport needs into bigger more efficient organisations which provide transport to lots of schools rather than arranging this individually.

The measures are achieving great popularity and you can catch up with the coverage on most of the local and national media, if you’re outside the US you may need to use a proxy like this to access these sites.

One of the most pro-active initiatives in this area is being taken in Texas where they are in the third year of a project called FAST (Financial Allocation Study for Texas) this studies how school districts and college campuses spend their money and how that is related to the student achievement levels and education.  It tries to identify which schools and the related strategies are paying dividends in both achievement and the efficient allocation of resources.

There is talk of some sort of further project to analyse the results of these findings nationally and applying best practise across the nation.  Similar projects have been successful across the border and Canada has a much more efficient education system than the US as a result.  For similar access to the Canadian media as specified above you can use this proxy method to access – Canadian proxy.