2011/11/25 Leave a Comment
According to the NY state budget, the state of NY spends $15K per student and has an average of 22 students in each classroom. That means the state of NY spends $330K to create one classroom.
To buy a 2600 square foot house, insure, heat and cool, maintain lawn, provide phone, internet, water and garbage service, etc costs $30K/year. To provide the needed educational materials and work sheets to school children costs less than $500 per year per child. Let us assume that cost is $10K per year for the 22 children in the example. Let us also assume that NY school teachers are paid $120K in pay, health care, pension, etc per year. In reality, they get a lot less than this. For a teacher to create a one room school house in the state of NY would cost about $160K per year.
Based on these calculations the public schools are spending an extra $170,000 per classroom and can only account for $160,000 of the original $330,000 in each public school classroom, thus leaving $170,000 unaccounted for. There are not more teachers or other tangible signs of it in the classroom that help students learn. You will be hard pressed to convince people that schools need more money when half of the school budget never makes it into the classroom.
Please do the same calculations for your states school system. The data is all available on the WEB. Google public school spending in your state’s budget. The size of public school classrooms is also on the WEB.
In most public school systems 5 out of every 10 employees are teachers. In the average private school, 8 out of every 10 employees are teachers. This would be a good place to start looking for the missing money.
In the NEA and the AFT unions, the two largest national “teachers” unions, more than half the union members do not teach. More than half of their members work outside of the classroom.
In a future letter I will discuss how “Cash in the Hand” fixes these problems.