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 them 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.

On Healthcare Spending Consuming most of the Increase in Income for Lower Income Earners

Tom Nagle writes:
I think it is pretty obvious why poor people are more harmed by the increase in health care costs than higher income people are. Much of the increase is a result of increases in mandated coverage for things like psychological counselling, birth control products, in-vitro fertilization, "lifestyle drugs", and very high cost treatments that merely delay death from a terminal illness. These are all things that a high income person might likely purchase (outright or via insurance) without a government mandate, but that a lower income person might be more likely to forego in order to have more income to spend on other things. The widespread satisfaction with health care among people in the UK and even Canada, despite the things not covered in the public healthcare system, is one indicator that the majority of people in developed countries would prefer to pay for less health care than government requires people to buy in this country. If it were legal in America to sell coverage equal to the Canadian system's coverage at the Canadian system's cost, I suspect it would quickly win the largest market share.
Posted November 1, 2014 6:02 PM

David R. Henderson writes:
Well said, Tom. In a speech I gave on health care once, I said, “I don’t want to mandate Canadian style health care for the United States; I want to allow it."
You could go further and say lower income people would mostly prefer to take more risk with say less educated providers and so the system of licencing in the USA states is excessive.
I am also almost certain that Government in the USA could provide taxpayer funded medical care for all citizens for less than it spends now in medicare and medicaid, if it only funded evidenced based medicine. That is if it refused to pay for treatments that do not have evidence that of net positive outcomes. This would not be death panels but refuse to pay panels, people could pay for any additional treatments.
The expensive medical care treatments generally yield very low returns to health.