Thursday, May 20, 2010
A Growth Industry
Education (part 16)
In the twentieth century we saw nothing but growth in public education. Like all bureaucracies, the educational bureaucracy has replaced their original task, that of allegedly educating children, with the objective that all bureaucracies end up with, which is self-perpetuation. They have succeeded in this goal. Richard Mitchell in his book: The Graves of Academe, correctly observes, "when we say, as we seem to more and more of these days, America is failing, it is because we don't understand the institution. It is in fact, succeeding enormously. It grows daily, hourly in power and wealth." Business Weekly reported this, "public schools already take more than one-third of state and local spending on goods and services and taxpayers are increasingly unwilling to pour billions more into a system that is widely perceived as having failed."
This country spends $373 billion a year [1999-2000] on public elementary and secondary education, making it one of the largest government expenditures. An average of $6,911 was spent on each student—an increase of 6.2 percent from $6,508 in school year 1998–99. Total expenditures for public education, including school construction, debt financing, community services, and adult education programs, came to nearly $382 billion. The 6 million people working for the public schools account for about 30% of all civilian government employment. According to National Review, fewer than half of these are teachers. Forbes magazine reports that in constant dollars, that is dollars adjusted for inflation "government schools spent $974.00 per student in 1945. By 2006 that amount was $9,138.00 per student. [$526.6 billion]" During that same period math scores on the ACT dropped 22 points and verbal scores dropped 47 points. In 2010, the total amount spent on public education topped one trillion dollars.