Last year I calculated the average cost per student that is spent to educate each student in Indiana from K-12. The results were staggering.
Some of the estimates have been updated; so I have decided to update my calculations and include links in case you wish to go and check these statistics for yourself.
Start with this link: http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/TRENDS/trends1.cfm?var=curr
This link is to a summary page that is maintained by The Indiana Department of Education. Please pay particular attention to the bar graph at the top. What this chart shows is that real spending on education PER STUDENT in Indiana has DOUBLED in the last twenty two years.
For the 2003/2004 school year (The most current data The State of Indiana Department of Education has bothered to compile) the average cost per student is listed at $9033 per student per year. This is a staggering number. This is the number Mitch Daniels used in his State of the State speech early this year.
This number is wrong. Please read the note at the bottom of the graph "Current Expenditure is as defined by the Federal Government and does not include capitol outlay or debt service."
In other words, they did NOT include the interest we are paying on all of the loans and bonds that are in place to support the schools and this $9033 per student per year does NOT count Capital Outlays, for example, new schools.
The next part is much harder to find. I am assuming this data is hard to locate because there are various school districts spread out all across Indiana and they all have their own bonds and loans.
I used statistics from the National Education Association. These are once again estimated numbers for the 2003-2004 school year.
We had 1,010,000 students. We spent $1,025,576,000 on capital outlays. This works out to $1026 per student.
We spent $835,795,000 on interest payments. This works out to $836 per student.
So the total estimated cost for the 2003/2004 school year per student is
9003 + 1026 + 836 = $10,865.
Remember that The Education Roundtable just admitted that even though The State of Indiana has been claiming graduation rates of over 90%, those graduation rates are much lower, most likely around 75%. What if the estimates on school spending are off by the same amount?