"But that money must all be frittered away on administration rather than instruction, at least as compared to 1960. Well, table 164 suggests that this isn't so: The ratio of instructional expenses to all current expenses in 1959 was 67.7%; in 1998, it was 61.7%, somewhat less but not tremendously so. I know of no evidence that the definition of "instructional expenses" has changed materially since then, though if some of you do know of such evidence, please let me know."
The writer admits to not having the full picture on this angle and I think it is the culprit. I can name school districts in my state that spend less than 1% of their operating budgets on curriculum and textbooks. It explains why when I was in school we had books issued to us and now the students often have no books, but instead get copies of worksheets from books. My guess is that student books are less important to our school districts than having a nice conference room in which to conduct labor negotiations.
My niece attended a public school in Baltimore County, MD -- not the City of Baltimore which is an absolute joke as far as education is concerned, and she never brought home a textbook. Everything was sent home in packets. Her parents finally wized up about public school education and sent her to a Catholic school in the fifth grade where she was issued actual textbooks. Where does all the money go??? Her tuition in Catholic school is about $3,000. I don't know how much Baltimore County spends on each kid, but they didn't give them textbooks. Amazing isn't it?
posted on 04/23/2002 7:41:01 PM PDT
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