Sunday, September 2, 2007

DC Education Spending

Great post from Classically Liberal about DC public school spending. I highly recommend reading the whole thing. Besides the typical stories about spending millions to employ useless people for political reasons and unions demanding free money in exchange for political support at the cost of actually teaching children anything, for me the most interesting thing was the cost of private schools in the District.

St. Gabriel School has a tuition of $4,500. The more prestigious German School in the suburbs charges $10,000 per year. The most expensive, elite private school in the city, St. Albans charges $26,500 per year.

The most expensive school in DC is $26,500 per annum. The budget for the public schools comes to $20,000 dollars per student. DC could eliminate the public school system, send every student to a "prestigious" school in the suburbs, and still save $10,000 per student per annum.

Of course every year politicians campaign for more money for schools. As CL observes,

Markets reward solutions with profits. Politics is used to address “problems”. The more problems you have the more programs and subsidies that you qualify for. The nature of political financing is perverse. It rewards dysfunctionality far more than efficiency.

Yet some people hold up our public education system as a model to be extended to health care. After all, it worked so well for our "most precious resource."


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