SEARCH BLOG: EDUCATION
[UPDATED] New data show that Michigan’s public schools received more revenue per pupil in 2011 than ever before, according to analysis conducted by Michael Van Beek, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center. Taxpayers supplied a total of $19.5 billion — $13,405 per pupil — to schools through federal, state and local revenues. An updated online database maintained by the Mackinac Center contains this district-level fiscal data.Spending per pupil seems to be the measure of whether or not the students are getting a good education. However, like Medicare or Veterans Administration spending, the amount of money spent doesn't necessarily reflect the amount of waste or ineffective spending.
The State of Michigan provides graduation rate data by school district. Out of curiosity, I compared the spending per pupil by school district to graduation rates. Shown below are the top 5 and bottom 5 districts in spending and associated graduation rates. Oh, surprise, surprise.
You can draw your own conclusions. But my conclusion is this: spending money to educate students doesn't change attitudes attitudes toward education. It may make you feel better about your efforts to improve the opportunities for those who don't value an education, but the data do not support the conclusion that you've achieved your goals.