Sounding more than a little like us, a weekend article from the Ledger-Independent admits it, a full quarter of a century after the passage of the now legendary Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990, major school problems have not been fixed in this state.
Of course, school folks are quick to blame others like the taxpayer and the legislature. Not enough money, say the educators.
Well, that’s really disrespectful to the taxpayer. I just did a quick check of the increase in Total Expenditures in Kentucky’s schools from annual revenue and expenditures reports from the Kentucky Department of Education. Adjusting the 2013 amount to constant 1990 dollars using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics neat inflation calculator provides the following information.
As you can see, even after we correct for inflation, the amount of money Kentuckians spent in their public schools in 2012-13 was more than double the amount spent in 1990. That’s a lot of money and our educators need to be a bit more respectful about this real sacrifice on the part of Kentucky’s taxpayers.
The truth seems to be that public education is having a hard time learning to live within its considerable, and today much larger, means. We are getting a lot of excuses, but we are still stuck with the problem of lagging schools that we had two and a half decades ago.