Education Spending and Results

As education spending and school choice, via Senate Bill 1, continues to be debated in Pennsylvania, state lawmakers should consider the recent testiomy of Andrew Coulson of the CATO Institute to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education & the Workforce.

Coulson’s testimony outlines how the federal government’s attempts to raise overall K-12 academics has been a colossal misuse of taxpayer funds. As the chart below shows, the roughly $2 trillion Congress has spent trying to improve academic achievement since 1965, adjusting for inflation, failed to deliver results.

Further, state and local education spending has grown drastically in conjunction with federal funds, also failing to improve academics.

What Coulson notes did improved achievement, is Washington, DC’s Opportunity Scholarships Program, a successful voucher program CF has previously highlighted here and here.

Pennsylvania is no exceptio; despite spending $13,000 per student—$2,000 more per than the national average—our public schools are still underperforming. Competition and school choice are proven ways state policymakers can improve students education.