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Saturday, May 02, 2015

Baltimore schools second in spending

The idea that Baltimore's riots are the result of not spending enough money on the poor is an idiocy. The United States redistributes more than $1 trillion a year in welfare programs including child tax credits, EITC, Medicaid and dens of other programs. No other nation comes close. And "poor" school districts are not. Federal money makes Baltimore second in the nation in spending per child.

Only New York City spends more.

From the Baltimore Sun:
The city's $15,483 per-pupil expenditure was second to New York City's $19,770. Rounding out the top five were Montgomery County, which spent $15,421; Milwaukee public schools at $14,244; and Prince George's County public schools, which spent $13,775.
The Census Bureau also noted the first decrease in per-pupil spending nationally since 1977, the year the figures were first tracked.
The per-pupil expenditures were calculated based on taking the districts' current spending on day-to-day operations and deducting payments to charter schools and capital funding. The remaining money was divided by the number of students enrolled in traditional schools.
We do not spend too little, we spend too much. The rioters were not demanding justice. They were demanding things. They were egged on by thugs who want more government power.

Baltimore doesn't need more money. It needs more grownups.


  1. Years ago, when I cared about the issue, I used to follow the annual statistics on town-by-town spending on public schools in Massachusetts. As I recall now, the town of Cambridge, home of both Harvard U. and MIT, used to spend the most money per pupil of all (or nearly all) the towns in the state, and yet year after year the test scores of the school kids in Cambridge were very poor, close to the bottom of the rankings if I remember correctly. For the whole state, I never saw a strong correlation between test scores and how much was spent on schools. The strongest trend was with family social status: towns with few minorities and a reputation of having strong family structures with parents who tended to be in the professions were the ones that normally led the test scores. It's not money; it's family values that make the difference. History demonstrates that and Conservatives know it; Liberals deny it, which is why their prescription of throwing money at social problems rarely succeeds.

  2. Some of the best school systems in the US also spend less per student than most.

    Schools that perform at a high level often share a startling demographic. They still have a majority of kids who live in two-parent homes. In a city like Baltimore over 70% are from single parent homes. I don't care what damn color they are, those kids are in a huge hole from the get go.

  3. The spending on schools would indicate that per child amounts are bogus numbers. I would expect that to include building costs, maintenance, operation, administration (likely the largest part) and pensions, teacher salaries and pensions, staff and pensions, and school districts (more admin), boards of education (more admin), and likely, more admin. Call my cynical; I can live with that.

  4. Government school monopolies aren't about the best educational possibilities for students. Government schools are about a jobs program for the teachers unions.

    Money is power, and the government school monopoly will not lessen its iron fisted grip on the taxpayer. It's why the teachers union and their trained seal politicians howl so loud at any hint to 'cuts' in school funding and spend millions to defeat school choice initiatives.

  5. I don't believe that the problem stems from single parent families versus traditional, or even the amount of money spent, except as a side effect of what the real problem is in poorly performing school districts. The real problem is that the foundation of 100% of the social service mindset, therefore the direction that all support services of every type for children turns to automatically is that children from "single parent families" or single gender parents, be it due to divorce, never marrying, or same sex unions, split, shared or step parent households are categorized as "at risk", "in need", "unstable", or otherwise labeled as "SPECIAL", when in reality, the VAST majority are nothing of the kind. There is nothing inherently bad about a single parent family, especially when compared to a child who grows up in an abusive, sick, and artificial "normal" household with two parents. These kids, however, are automatically given special programs, special classes, special teachers, special social workers, etc. They are indoctrinated into the school system that immediately tells them that they're not well, that they're not normal, that they're fragile and "needy". Of course they're going to demand more and more privileges, special programs, special help, and special treatment, because they are being told this over and over and over- perhaps even the loudest declarations of their specialness coming from people like Dennis Howell, who have determined that only the traditional family could possibly produce happy, healthy and productive adults. In claiming that only two parent households can raise normal children, you yourselves have doomed them to this "special" category, which you simultaneously claim they belong in, while denying the necessity for the programs that treat them exactly as you claim they need to be.
    Kids with single parents aren't "Special", nor are they automatically "at risk" or "needy" or anything else, but in claiming that "normal" means something else, it's already been decided that they not only should continue to expect the progressive, liberal social service support system, but that paying the cost is preferable to telling these kids - and the bloated bureaucracy that has been caring for them- that they're not special, that they're not needy, that they're just as capable, just as intelligent, and just as NORMAL as the kid with a mom, dad, a sibling, two cars, and a nice suburban house that mom stays at all day since her job is to take care of those "privileged" kids full time. You can't have it both ways.

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