Thursday, September 22, 2005

The real cost of Public Education in Indiana

The real cost of K-12 education in Indiana.

Last year I decided to research the annual average cost per student for K-12 education in Indiana. I ended up using two sources for all of my statistics; I used Stats Indiana and The National Teachers Association.

Below is a summary of the average cost of Education in Indiana for 2004:

Expenses per student (Not counting Capital Outlays or Debt Service) = $8592 per year.
Capital expense per student (New buildings and large projects) = $1026 per year.
Interest expense per student (Interest on school bonds) = $836 per year.

LAST year, the cost to educate the average student in Indiana was $10,787 per year per student! This cost is paid each year K-12.

This money comes from a variety of sources, some is Federal taxes, some is State taxes, and the majority of the funding comes from Property taxes.

Real spending (Adjusted for inflation) on Educations has tripled in the last forty years. Forty years ago we had the best education system in the world. Today our education system is mediocre.

We need to fix our education system. Education is critical. Spending more money on education is not the way to fix the system. If spending more money on education was the answer, our education system today would be three times as good as it was forty years ago…


Bartleby said...

Let government, at all levels, cease operating schools.

Problem solved.

Debbie said...

You're right, Mike, education is critical.

That's why it's so crazy to let the government do it.

I agree with you bartleby.

The best thing any parent can do for their kids is to avoid sending them to a government school.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I will not argue with the two of you at all.

The government has failed at public education; it should get out.

Kathleen said...

I do not think the problem is with public education being run by local governments as we have it today. I think the problem lies much deeper.

I spent many years in private education as a student and was actually at a disadvantage when I got to college. The public education affords most students more than they would get in a parochial school. There are other options besides parochial schools available. A parent does have the option to pay over 10K a year to send their student to a private non-parochial school. However, that does not mean they will receive the same advantages as a student in a public school system.

I currently work in a local public school as a teacher. We feed each of our students a free breakfast daily. We also have many of our students on free/reduceds lunch. Along with this, I also personally provide pencils, notebooks and other misc items to students that do not have the money to purchase such things. Money is needed at the lowest levels of education. We can feed a child, but we do not provide him with paper, or pencils.

After having just spent a week giving the ISTEP test for the year, I do not think the problem is with the local school system. I think the problem started long ago with individuals making decisions for schools when they had no idea how a school was run. When was the last time any of our politicians spent a few weeks in the classroom observing. A day observing does not give you a honest idea of what teachers face. I invite any politician to walk a week in my shoes or in the shoes of any teacher teaching in a public school.

Do you want to know what we teach? Just take a look at the ISTEP test, we teach little else. Perhaps this is why we have a mediocre educational system?

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I enjoyed reading your comments Kathy. Any local teachers have both my respect and my sympathy's.

I agree with you that the problem runs deep.

I do not agree with you that Public Education is EVER better then private education. The statistics do not support that at all...

I know that schools prvide a variety of services for students they should not:
Free and subsidized meals

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I enjoyed reading your comments Kathy. Any local teachers have both my respect and my sympathy's.

I agree with you that the problem runs deep.

I do not agree with you that Public Education is better then private education. The statistics do not support that at all...

I know that schools prvide a variety of services for students they should not:
Free and subsidized meals
Free and subsidized text books
for SOME students
Programs that have NOTHING to do
with education

I do not put all of the blame on the local school system. I put a lot of the blame on parents. I put a lot of blame on the needless bureaucracy that is involved with the schools. Did you know that we currently spend LESS THEN HALF of every education on classroom education? That is absurd!

I think ALL POLITICIANS should spend some time in the classroom. That is a great idea.

I think the reasons we have a mediocre education system are different:

Lack of respect
Lack of parental support
Needless layers of bureaucracy in the school system
The schools are teaching silly things and political correctness!

Kathleen said...

I have to still disagree with you on private education Mi (no not a typo, since my name is not Kathy). Have you ever spent some time in private education? I have at one time taught in private education. The amount of lack of $ and supplies in private education is scary. I had to teach middle school science with archaic instruments and NO budget. I think I would have made DaVinci proud.

My point is not that public education is better, my point is to have someone that knows about education making the decisions about education. Do you realize we have police officers stationed in a good many of our local school? Perhaps a politician needs to see the war zone we call education first hand. I still believe that if a politician would spend a good two weeks or more in the classroom with a teacher, they would see what some of the problems really are. (OK, I will climb down off my soap box now)

On another tangent, when you make education mandatory for children 6 to 16 yrs of age, you have to treat it like an education and not a baby-sitting service. Students should have to be accountable at every level of education, not just in high school when taking the GQE. I have middle school kids that are reading at a 2nd and 3rd grade level. It is incredibly hard for these students to keep up with the class not to mention we want them to "succeed." WHO are we helping by passing them on????
(OK, I will climb down off my second soap box now.)

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I agree with you 100% on several of your points!

Of course politicians should spend some time in "war torn" schools. No doubt about it.

I think that local schools should have more authority to run themselves. We need to completely eliminate several layers of WASTED school bureaucracy.

Schools needs to be held accountable, teachers need to be held accoutnable, parents need to be held accoutnable, AND children need some accountability. I agree with you!

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Anonymous said...

This article works very well with my child, hope you find it useful too.

adhd specialist
adhd specialist

Children with ADHD

There is a perplexing state of affairs in today's society, there lies a strong correlation between the affluence of a society and the amount of disease that is present. There is also another correlation that troubles many a people and that is with affluence comes disease at an Earlier age.

Working with children and the parents of these children I often get asked the question, 'Why are Children with ADHD on the increase?'

The answer as you shall find is one that is both interesting and challenging.

Children of today are really no more different from the children of yesterday in terms of genetic makeup. However, if you examine the issue more closely you will tend to find that many children today have been given labels. For example, 'Oh, those are children with ADHD' or 'Those are the children who can't sit still.' Or 'That is the kid that always gets into trouble.'

These labels are not only destructive but also become a self fulfilling prophecy as it is repeated adnauseum.

So as a 21st century parent or a parent with a child with ADHD or a parent with children with ADHD, what knowledge framework do you need to equip yourself with to ensure your children live out their true potential?

Here is a quick reference list for thinking about ADHD
� ADHD is a source of great frustration because it is misunderstood
� ADHD medications are a great short term time buying device and should be avoided long term
� The above point goes for any sort of drug consumption. Think about it for a minute. Unless you have a biochemical deficiency in your body like Type 1 diabetes where your body fails to produce enough insulin or any at all, why would you take an external drug? A body that is in balance is totally healthy. It is only when the body is out of balance that dis-ease symptoms start to creep up.
� ADHD is a biochemical imbalance of the mind and body.
� The Head of Psychiatry in Harvard states that drugs for ADHD simply mask the effects of ADHD. It does not cure ADHD. This is an important point because a cure implies never to have to take the medication. This means that once you start on medication you will have to be on it for the rest of your life i.e. you have medically acquired a dependency for a biochemical imbalance. That is like stuffing all your rubbish (problematic behaviors) into a closet (medication) where no one can see it. But if you continue to stuff more rubbish into that closet, one day you will not have enough space and need to do one of two things. You either empty the rubbish (the natural conclusion) or you get a bigger closet (i.e. change to stronger medication to control the symptoms). The choice is obvious but sometimes when you don't have the necessary tools to deal with ADHD you tend to think the bigger closet is the only option.
� ADHD children are super sensitive to the emotions around them. Often they pick up emotional cues from their parents without realizing. Many parents come home frustrated or annoyed from work, the child with ADHD picks this up and starts to 'cause trouble' by becoming restless. Parents frustration increase because they just want some peace and quiet. They get angry which in turn is picked up by the child who then intensifies their activity. Things get way out of hand and some sort of punishment is handed down to the child who has no idea what just happened. The cycle repeats itself every so often.
� Our brains are wired emotionally. Positive praise is interpreted as an analytical/thinking exercise. Negative criticism including scolding, name calling, physical punishment all go directly to the emotional brain of children with ADHD. This means in order to ensure you get your message across in the most optimal way, you need to learn how to communicate with your ADHD children the way they like to be communicated with.
� Every negative comment requires 16 positive comments to neutralize the emotion. Save yourself the frustration and agitation by practicing positive communication.

The list is by no means complete. In dealing with children with ADHD there are a certain set of behavioural principles to follow. I will detail these steps in the coming weeks. I'll also build on the list as you continue to learn about what appears to be a mystical disorder known as 'Children with ADHD'

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Marc Callan said...

An open question for any of you who might know the answer . . .

Exactly what is the cost per student for administering ISTEP each year?

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