The Problem With Public Schools: Not How Much Money, But How It’s Spent

Jay Caruso:

Whenever the discussion of public school performance arises, invariably someone will blame poor outcomes on a lack of money. It’s a familiar refrain and an argument easy for some people to make, not because it’s easy to prove, but because it sounds plausible.

Here are some examples:

  • “Public school funding is not equitable.”
  • “We are not investing enough in public education.”
  • “Our schools do not have adequate resources.”
  • “We need to invest more in our children’s future.”

Public school funding has long been a contentious issue; school districts often sue the state to increase funding. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 ruled in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez that education is not a federal right and funding is to be determined by the states. If people (i.e., teachers unions and allies) feel the state legislature is not providing enough funding, they could use the courts to force more spending, and they are often victorious in doing so.

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