Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ignorance Ain't Cheap

Politicians are campaigning to slash education budgets, and even refusing to spend federal money allocated for education.

NEA researcher Michael Petko says the reason lies in “faulty economics.”

“Many people don’t realize that, dollar per dollar, education funds are going to increase state income and produce more jobs than money spent in any other sector in the economy.”

In 2004, NEA conducted two studies on the economic impact of education spending, “K-12 Education in the U.S. Economy” and “The Effects of State Public K-12 Education Expenditures on Income Distribution.”

These studies revealed a statistically significant correlation between education spending and economic development. Study authors argued that increasing education spending would decrease poverty and promote economic growth, and that decreasing education spending would do the opposite.

For each dollar a state saved per student, 0.4% fewer small businesses would come to the state and bring jobs, the researchers found.

Economic stagnation is just one of the many negative consequences of cutting education budgets. Reducing classroom spending will also make it harder for Americans to compete in the international job market against the Chinese and others who are increasing how much they invest in their children’s education.

The United States now spends less than many peer nations on primary and secondary education. In 2009, the United States only spent 25% of its per capita GDP on secondary education, while Austria spent 30% and Italy spent 29%, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Teachers aren’t causing our economic problems. Why are they the scapegoat? We have to stop cutting their salaries!