Will Increased Education Funding Solve Our Problems?

Recently, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a budget for FY 2011. Governor Rendell praised the budget for increasing education funding by $250 million. But is increased funding for our schools the solution to our problem, or are we just throwing more money away? Despite the billions of dollars we spend on education, student performance has largely flat-lined.

A few years ago, John Stossel did a special called “Stupid in America.” In Part 2 of this special, John Stossel asks whether more money is truly the answer to the problems of the American education system. As you watch the video, pay attention to how the Europeans think of American schools and students. Take note of the statements that the charter school principle makes. Are there any lessons we can learn from the European system?

One lesson we should learn is that increased school choice is one way to improve American education system. A recent study of the D.C. voucher program shows that the program increased graduation rates by 21%, while educating students for only a fraction of the cost per-child in the public schools. In Pennsylvania, the EITC program alone saved taxpayers over $500 million in the 2007-2008 school year. All school choice options combined saved taxpayers over $3.5 billion. School choice forces schools to compete for money and to strive to outperform other schools. Consequently, children receive a better education at a lower price than with the current monopolized system. More money most certainly is not the answer.

I encourage you to watch the remaining portions of this special. To watch the remaining parts, just follow the links below:

Part 1: Are America’s Schools Failing Our Kids?

Part 3: Zoned out of a Good Education

Part 4: School Choice Proponents Meet Resistance

Part 5: The Teachers Union Monopoly

Part 6: Competition Leads to Innovation