Monday, November 3, 2014

Let's Get Politicians to Commit to Some Percent of School Spending Going to Teachers

Here in Florida both of our candidates for governor are promising to increase school spending. Seeing that administration spending has risen 700% since 1970 and is huge shouldn't we get then to also commit to spending some percent in the classroom?

Years ago I heard an economist on a local radio who compared the Alachua county school system with the comparably sized catholic school system for Tampa St Petersburg. He said that in the catholic school system 90% of total spending was in the classroom where in the Alachua county school system only 50% of spending was in the classroom. (In the classroom would be the teacher compensation plus cost of physical plant plus costs of things like paper and books.)

So let's not get politicians to commit to more school spending but to more in classroom spending. We can be for lower school spending and more compensation for teachers. 

Florida spends about $10,000 student per year. So a class of 20 students would be about $200,000. I rent office space so I know we rent enough space for about 3 class rooms for about $900/month (and that includes about 1/4th of that goes to taxes and schools do not pay property taxes) so building costs should not be major expense. Total teacher compensation must be about $65,000/year. Now you do need to spend more for special education but that would be in class spending and that would not be enough to explain where the money goes.

So I think that citizens should ask for less total spending more in classroom spending. 

BTW here is an except from that tells you be careful of the numbers that you get from your local school board: They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools
Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. The gap between real and reported per-pupil spending ranges from a low of 23 percent in the Chicago area to a high of 90 percent in the Los Angeles metro region.

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