As Andrew notes, President Obama’s budget includes a big increase in education spending: $77.4 billion total, a 22 percent jump from 2010 levels. And while the Obama administration has been signaling that education reform will be a top priority in 2011, it’s too bad that the operating assumption is the way to help improve public education is to, once again, increase funding.
In fact, there’s no correlation between increased funding and a better education. In testimony delivered earlier this month at a hearing conducted by the House Education and Workforce Committee, the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson pointed out it costs the taxpayer $151,000 for each student’s K-12 public education — nearly three times as much as was spent per student in the ’70s, if you adjust inflation. What’s the result? “Overall achievement has stagnated or declined, depending on the subject,” reports Coulson.