Back in January I was confused over the Washington Post's claiming that the the D.C. public schools only spent $8,322 per pupil. Big city public schools in the U.S. are some of the most lavishly funded schools in the world and most likely in the history of mankind. Though you'd never know it by the dilapidated facilities and floundering student achievement.
Andrew Coulson of the Cato Blog has crunched the numbers for D.C. and came up with a per pupil spending number of $24,606. That's obscene.
There are quite a few people that still think that you can improve education outcomes by just throwing a few more dollars at the problem. I don't think these people realize just how much money they'll need to throw at the problem because $24,606 doesn't appear to be enough.
Today's chart courtesy of data from the U.S. Census should give you an idea just how much money we continue to throw at the problem year in and year out.
These are total expenditures in constant dollars (i.e., adjusted for inflation) for public schools. In other words, this is what we actually pay per student based on daily attendance numbers. Basically, the amount we spend on public education has doubled in real dollars since the early seventies.
Has any other product or service doubled in price since then?