Today’s fun fact: Federal stimulus money to K-12 public schools in the United States totals $68 billion. That’s $68 billion over and above what the feds normally spend on public education.
What are Americans getting for the extra spending? Not much. That’s the conclusion reached by Chester Finn and Frederick Hess in an insightful National Review Online article titled, Education Reforms or Union Jobs? For that kind of money, you’d expect to boost student achievement and make a big splash in some problem area, right? Not so. According to the Department of Education, what the $68 billion actually bought is about 400,000 jobs. That’s the number the department says were “saved or created”, an overwhelming number of which are union jobs too. Cushioning schools from the effects of the economic downturn only forestalls the need for real reform.
All that rhetoric about helping kids and schools, well ….you decide.