Money doesn’t make graduates

August 24, 2011

Chart data

It is hard to make comparisons between different states’ data on public schooling because each one is faced with unique conditions. That said, the data above is pretty striking. The graph shows the public school dropout rate — the percentage of students dropping out annually — and the amount of public money spent per student per year, in thousands of dollars. You can see that there is not a lot of correlation spending and the dropout rate. Spending more doesn’t educate more students.

Of course this data only speaks to the dropout rate rather than educational achievement. So we can’t see the upside to higher spending. It’s always helpful to have bigger budgets but public schools, like all parts of muniland, will need to dig deeper and achieve more with less money. I’m confident that we can improve our educational system in the face of budget tightening.

I’m interested in all comments and references on the topic please leave them below.


US Department of Education: Public high school graduates and dropouts: 2007-08

US Census Bureau: Public Elementary–Secondary Education Finance Data

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission: A Compendium of State Education Rankings

One comment

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For all the money and thought and resources we’ve poured into schools in impoverished neighborhoods, we’ve done little to raise the trajectory of those growing up in these communities. Brill believes that’s because of racalcitrant teachers’ unions. I believe it’s considerably more complicated than that. 11/08/24/should-we-really-expect-schools -to-cure-poverty/

Posted by Cate_Long | Report as abusive