There’s no connection between how much money is spent on public school education and student outcome, according to the conservative non-profit Watchdog.org.
Andrew Coulson, director of the Center For Educational Freedom at the libertarian think tank the CATO Institute, says there’s no discernible correlation between spending and student test scores.
“The takeaway from this study is that what we’ve done over the past 40 years hasn’t worked,” said Coulson. “The average performance change nationwide has declined 3 percent in mathematical and verbal skills. Moreover, there’s been no relationship, effectively, between spending and academic outcomes.”
Coulson’s study, “State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years,” shows that while spending has tripled and school employees doubled since 1970, student scores in reading math and science "remained stagnant."
“That is remarkably unusual,” Coulson wrote in his study. “In virtually every other field, productivity has risen over this period thanks to the adoption of countless technological advances — advances that, in many cases, would seem ideally suited to facilitating learning. And yet, surrounded by this torrent of progress, education has remained anchored to the riverbed, watching the rest of the world rush past it.”
The study does not take into account the widening gap of income inequality, which began climbing in the 1970s.
The number of American school children without adequate resources, even food, at home has grown considerably since then. An $8.7 billion food stamp cut was signed into law by President Barack Obama in February.
The unemployment rate is 6.7 percent despite labor force participation reaching a 6-month high, adding 192,000 jobs.