Education should be about the children, not the adults
As children across the region and the country head back to school this fall, a new survey from the Gallup organization shows a decline in the number of Americans who are satisfied with K-12 education.
According to Gallup polling, 55% of Americans are now either somewhat or completely dissatisfied.
When asked about their own child's education, at least 48% of Americans express some satisfaction - but this question included parents of those in private schools, charter schools and homeschooling parents as well. It is reasonable to assume that those parents would be more likely to be satisfied.
The internals of the poll are fascinating. More than 65% say the curriculum is the issue, while 28% say a lack of resources and 17% say political concerns.
You can always find reports that schools are not being funded enough. But no one ever answers the question about how much is enough.
As the research shows, the amount spent per student does not necessarily lead to better outcomes.
The Reason Foundation published this new comprehensive study on K-12 education. It shows the amount Americans are spending per student, per year, has continually increased. In some states, the increases are staggering.
The research shows we spend an average of more than $15,000 per student, per year. Most of that spending increase has not been on the child, but on the increase cost of salaries and benefits for teachers and school district employees.
The founder of Reclaim Idaho - which is pushing a ballot measure that dramatically increases taxes in the state to put more money into K-12 - posted this controversial tweet on Labor Day.
The translation here: it's not about the students, it's about the educators.
This outrageous belief is far too common in education today.
In reality, parents want to know that their students are achieving success in the classroom. There are various ways this can be accomplished, but certainly it is necessary to look at the results.
When taxpayers put money into K-12, they do so to pay to educate the child.
In Washington State, teachers in several school districts, including Seattle, are threatening an illegal strike.
Florida teachers did the same thing just a few weeks ago.
None of these actions will help children. It will only further disrupt education.
In the end, the money belongs to the student. It does not belong to any district, building or educator. We should be funding students, not systems.
Fortunately, the majority of Americans across the political spectrum agree.