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!


Anonymous said...

To say that the United States is spending less than many other peer nations on education is simply not true. The % of per capita GDP spending figure is very misleading. If you look at the actual number of dollars being spent per student, the United States comes in third behind only Switzerland and Austria. If you don't like the results of our education system, don't blame the lack of dollars being thrown at the problem.


Doggie said...

I blame the lack of dollars, the political will, and the fact that education is the first thing cut. It's pathetic and you know it!

Anonymous said...

Something is wrong somewhere! Now that I'm disabled, I must rely more than ever on other people; on the phone, at the stores, even in doctors' offices.

The ignorance is unbelievable! Usually, the people try to be helpful, but seen unable to follow communication through to the end of a sentence!

My grandson, who alledgly suffers from ADD, still is able to read and hear and RETAIN information, thank God!, but it's apparent there are many distractions present in the current pop culture and I think if a person, these days, is able to follow a thought through, it is due to natural ability, not to regimens teaching and encouraging logical thought (or even illogical deviations).

Back in the dark ages, when I was finishing high school, lower achievers (and abilities) went to college pursuing athletics, becoming coaches or gym teachers. For many years now, this same echelon has pursued teaching. This is not to say all teachers fit this category, but unfortunately, many do. Standards for teachers are apparently not as high as they used to be, and, of course, pay is not tempting enough to lure the smarter, more dedicated types.

When I was in school, in my small Arkansas town, every teacher seemed intent on teaching, pushing their students to do their best.They did not take sick days, rush out of the classroom as soon as the exit bell rang, and in other ways make it obvious they were there merely for the paycheck.

My favorite teacher lived out in the country and rode the school bus in. She taught math,science and for a couple of years even taught commercial subjects (typing and shorthand). Our school didn't have much money, so the teachers had to stretch. All through my high school years, she took a 15 minute lunch at 10:30 a.m.

I just don't think enough credit or enough pay is being given any more to reward that kind of dedication and desire to teach.

There are people who love to teach. It should be possible to do this extremely important job and be paid a decent living wage.

Doggie's Mom