2010 April 17 Saturday
$22k Per Student In Newark New Jersey Schools

Why do you suppose money doesn't improve academic performance?

According to Mr. Christie, New Jersey taxpayers are spending $22,000 per student in the Newark school system, yet less than a third of these students graduate, proving that more money isn't the answer to better performance. He favors more student choice is, which is why he's ramping up approvals for charter schools.

$22k per kid is a lot of money for grade school or high school kid. Imagine you have a class of 16 kids. That's $352 thou for a class. The school buildings tend to be owned by the school system. So there's not a lot of rent cost. Electric power and heating do not add up to all that much. Where's the money going? Probably administrators, specialists, and really good pay and benefits for the teachers.

The teachers unions and members of the press who keep crying out for more money to fix education need to explain why more money does not work. Now, I think I know the (unspeakable, taboo, beyond-the-pale) answer. But what's their answer?

While I'm asking questions: Which city spends the most per student? Which city best demonstrates the limits of money for boosting intellectual performance?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 April 17 12:44 PM  Education

no i don't said at April 17, 2010 6:20 PM:

Heck yeah...
$22k is a lot of money even for university studies. Just ask the average middle class family that spends years trying to build up their "kid's college fund", from the time their children are born

A.Prole said at April 18, 2010 1:11 AM:

I wonder how many parents (especially those with multiple school age kids), actually pay $22,000 per annum in their total tax expenditure?
- Surely another argument for keeping the third world riff-raff out.

Big bill said at April 18, 2010 11:28 AM:

I think the $22k is the fully loaded cost of education, ie the salaries, bond issues, heating, cooling, pensions, desks, chairs, the whole shebang. The huge figures surfaced a few months ago out of some libertarian/rightie think tank that was trying to show the "real" (ie "but for") cost of public education.

DC came in the nation's highest at something like $28-29K.

So don't double count by adding all that infrastructure cost a second time.

You might want to search Sailer's website. I think the article with the listings of thirty or so US cities may have been mentioned there

Randall Parker said at April 18, 2010 2:26 PM:

Big Bill,

I just did some Google searches on education costs for top cities and couldn't find the study you refer to. You got any other key words for finding it?

Rob said at April 19, 2010 9:27 AM:

Turn it around: kids spend about 180 days a year in school, they're in class for about 7 hours a day. That works out to about $17 an hour per kid. Jus think of how many of those kids don't get enough education to ever actually EARN $17 per hour...

Randall Parker said at April 19, 2010 7:23 PM:


I had never thought of it that way. Geez, college kids would do one-on-one tutoring for less than $17 per hour. Beats working at a pizza joint or as a security guard.

gig said at April 20, 2010 6:36 AM:

in other words, poor people are a very expensive luxury for any society.

mike said at April 20, 2010 11:08 AM:

"Which city best demonstrates the limits of money for boosting intellectual performance?"

Washington, DC. They spend the most per student and have the worst test scores. Also probably a good example of why the federal government is not to be trusted with schools.

no i don't said at April 24, 2010 4:56 PM:

"Surely another argument for keeping the third world riff-raff out."
So funny comming from a prole...
Does the term "riff-raff" include "the proles"?
Thanks for such merry moment. Man!, I hadn't laughed like this for a while.

no i don't said at April 24, 2010 5:03 PM:

If only college kids knew that they could get quality higher education for free in most countries of Europe and Latin America...

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