We have all seen the pie charts how much education takes from our budget, be it on a federal level or state level. It’s usually very substantial and schools are always crying for more. (I wonder how much of those taxes the schools actually get to use, and how much ends up in bureaucratic pockets?) I think a lot ends up in someone’s pockets because schools are always using students (and their tax-paying parents) to peddle the latest chocolates or other fund raising items for schools.
Having said that, the U.S. Department of Education says:
Education in America is primarily a State and local responsibility, and ED’s budget is only a small part of both total national education spending and the overall Federal budget,
ED currently administers a budget of $62.6 billion in regular FY 2009 discretionary appropriations and $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education. The Department’s elementary and secondary programs annually serve nearly 14,000 school districts and approximately 56 million students attending some 98,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools. Department programs also provide grant, loan, and work-study assistance to more than 13 million postsecondary students.
So I looked up my state’s education budget. For 2009 it is $293,660,415.00
These are substantial amounts, and begs the question, how did our grandparents learn at all in that one room schoolhouse without those big budgets? Well the fact of the matter is, they DID learn, and learned well. Much was committed to memory. They had few distractions and learning was considered a privilege.
So imagine my surprise when today I read the article For $20, kids can buy a better grade
Selling candy didn’t raise much money last year, so a Goldsboro middle school is selling grades.A $20 donation to Rosewood Middle School will get a student 20 test points – 10 extra points on two tests of the student’s choosing. That could raise a B to an A, or a failing grade to a D.
Susie Shepherd, the principal, said a parent advisory council came up with the idea, and she endorsed it. She said the council was looking for a new way to raise money.
I think the educational system, when it comes to this, has failed. That’s a big F and we should stop throwing money at it, and go back to learning and appreciating the privilege.