Contrary

Abolish Dept. of Education

The Department of Education was created as a straight political payoff to the teacher’s unions by President Jimmy Carter (in return for their 1976 endorsement). According to the National Center for Education Statistics, DE’s original budget, in 1980, was $13.1 billion (in 2007 dollars) and it employed 450 people. By 2000, it had increased to $34.1 billion, and by 2007, more than doubled to $73 billion. The budget request for fiscal 2011 is $77.8 billion, and the department employs 4,800.

All of this spending has done nothing to improve American education. Between 1973 and 2004, a period in which federal spending on education more than quadrupled, mathematics scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress rose just one percent for American 17-year-olds. Between 1971 and 2004, reading scores remained completely flat.

Comparing educational achievement with per pupil spending among states also calls into question the value of increasing expenditures. While high-spending Massachusetts had the nation’s highest proficiency scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, low-spending Idaho did very well, too. South Dakota ranks 42nd in per pupil expenditures but eighth in math performance and ninth in reading. The District of Columbia, meanwhile, with the nation’s highest per pupil expenditures ($15,511 in 2007), scores dead last in achievement.

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June 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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