With kids returning to school this week, here are some fast facts about education spending and performance in Pennsylvania.
- $14,865: The amount Pennsylvania school districts spent per student in the 2010-11 school year.
That comes to $372,000 for a class of 25 students. It also represents $3,000 more than charter schools spend per student, and contrasts with the average Educational Improvement Tax Credit Scholarship of $1,100.
- 93 percent: Increase in public school spending from 1996-97 to 2010-11.
The fastest area of increase is in school construction and debt payments, but all funding sources have grown. Fueling this increase was the fact that schools added staff even as enrollment declined.
- $60,674: Average public school teacher salary in 2010-11.
Teacher pay scales and union-backed laws reward seniority rather than performance, often to the detriment of younger, high quality teachers.
- 61 percent: Proportion of 8th grade students scoring below proficient in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
- 185,000: Approximate number of students served by Pennsylvania’s school choice programs.
Prior to 1996, Pennsylvania had no charter schools, no cyber schools, no Educational Improvement Tax Credit scholarship, and no Opportunity Scholarship program. Today, enrollment in all these options has ballooned, and demand for school choice continues to grow.
|Enrollment in PA School Choice Programs|
|Brick and Mortar Charter||Cyber Charter||EITC K-12 Scholarships||Opportunity Scholarships||Total|