We Spend “Too Little” on Education?

According to a new Goucher College survey, 65 percent of Marylanders thinks the state spends too little on education.

Although two-thirds of the population feels that the state doesn’t spend enough in education, state and local governments in Maryland are estimated to spend $19.7 billion on education in fiscal year 2013, with the state spending $5.3 billion, according to USGovernmentSpending.com.
 Annual education spending in Maryland has increased over $7 billion since 2002 when the combined education spending reached $12.5 billion, with the state accounting for $3.4 billion.

Here’s the data chart showing education spending growth in Maryland.

That this many Marylanders would believe we spend too little on education despite throwing nearly $20 billion at it just this year, is a testament to the persistence of the fallacy Maryland Democrats and the Maryland State Education Association have foisted upon Marylanders.  Too many people wrongly believe that more money spent on education equals better-educated kids.  No wonder the budget passed during the 2012 legislatives session, which increased education spending by $2 billion was labeled “Doomsday.”
And, to a great extent one of the chief arguments for both sides of expanded gambling (Question 7) are built on this fallacy.
However, as G.K. Chesterton said, “fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashion.”
One year ago I posted a two part series on Maryland education spending, which showed that despite the additional billions poured into Maryland schools—mandated by the Thornton Bridge to Excellence law—test score data shows persistent and in some cases increasing achievement gaps.  Closing the achievement gaps between whites and minorities and wealthy and poor students was the ostensible premise for the Thornton spending mandates.  A decade and $7 billion extra dollars later, we are no closer to achieving the purpose of the law.
According same Education Week report that ranks Maryland’s schools as “Number One in the nation,” the system ranks dead last in the poverty gap for 8th grade math, only 22nd in high school graduation, and 34th in the nation for change in the graduation rate.
Furthermore, Maryland Higher Education Commission study found that a large amount of Maryland high school graduates need remedial math and English when they get to college.
According to an independent analysis of Thornton more than half of the increased funding went to teacher salary and benefits, not the classroom.
Spending more money isn’t the solution to properly educating our kids.  If it were Washington, DC would be cranking our National Merit Scholars like Henry Ford did the Model T.   All it does is throw more money at a rotted education establishment—looking at you MSEA—more interested in maintaining its political power than it is in actually educating our children.

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