The current White House occupant announced Tuesday that he’ll ask Congress for $1.35 billion to extend an education grant program for states, saying that getting schools right “will shape our future as a nation.” He went on to say: “Offering our children an outstanding education is one of our most fundamental — perhaps our most fundamental — obligations as a country” .
While the stated goal is difficult to disagree with, the methods are definitely open to examination and question.
Anyone who objectively views school funding in America realizes that spending more money on schools hasn’t led to better student performance. The massive spending already taking place is largely squandered on unnecessary school construction or administrative waste.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is a prime example. In 2008 the State of California, which is responsible for 13% of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP), spent one quarter of the State’s $1.85 trillion budget on the LAUSD. Yet the LAUSD didn’t even have a 50% graduation rate.
It’s easy to predict that the White House’s proposed additional funding will be spent on unionized teacher jobs. The teacher’s union will take dues from those teachers and funnel them back to Democratic Party campaign coffers.
That isn’t the way to improve school or student performance.
The private sector performs better than government in virtually every arena in which they compete. As is always the case, competition forces the private sector to do a better job. Using government funds for school vouchers which would allow students to choose between competing schools would provide a much more viable alternative to the existing system, which is fraught with waste.
With the national debt sitting at over $12 trillion, the last thing we need right now is additional government waste. Especially on “one of our most fundamental — perhaps our most fundamental — obligations as a country” .