I wrote yesterday about a pending report from a consortium of Kentucky school districts that would tell us how much more money they need to do their job well.
I was expecting sticker shock. I got sticker Tsunami!
The Herald-Leader just reported that the new report says Kentucky’s educators need $2.4 Billion more each year to do things their way!
Well, that’s no way!
This would mean about a 34 percent increase in school taxes. Given the relatively static revenue stream going to Frankfort and the attack on major Kentucky industries that depend on inexpensive energy (which is generated, for who knows how much longer, by coal), that increase would probably collapse the state’s economy completely.
There is a very important message here. Quite simply, the traditional education system seems clueless about how to make notable improvements in education without a massive further increase in spending. This means if we are going to improve education in this state, we have to start looking at other ideas from other areas.
This is school choice territory, and the new report emphasizes like never before that Kentucky is going to be seriously left behind if we don’t opt for less expensive school choice options that self-serving adult interests in our schools have steadfastly resisted.
I pointed out yesterday that the Center for Education Reform reports:
“Nationwide, on average, charter schools are funded at 61 percent of their district counterparts, averaging $7,612 per pupil compared to $10,441 per pupil at conventional district public schools.”
Even if the critics were right (I don’t think they are) and charter schools on average only do as well as traditional public schools, the fact that charters are doing that so much more economically still strongly says we need charters, and we need them right now.