America has…followed that program for several decades, with no sign that student performance has improved.…
…The issue is getting productive uses from current and added spending.
Taxpayers have invested considerable resources in the nation's public schools.
However, ever-increasing funding of Education has not led to similarly improved student performance.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average freshman graduation rate for American public schools has remained relatively flat over time.
In 1990-1991, the average graduation rate was 73.7 percent.On a per-pupil basis, real federal spending on K-12 education has also increased significantly over time.(See Chart 3.) In 2005, the federal government spent 1 per pupil, more than three times its level of spending in 1970 (1) after adjusting for inflation.In fact, the per-pupil expenditures in 1970-1971 (,060) were less than half of per-pupil expenditures in 2005-2006 (,266) after adjusting for inflation. Appendix A presents the growth of per-pupil expenditures by state compared to the national average.Over the past decade, real expenditures per pupil have increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, increasing the most in Vermont (47.5 percent) and the least in Alaska(5.9 percent).At the federal level, long-term budgets face a challenging fiscal climate.Projected growth of entitlement programs is expected to place an ever-increasing burden on the federal budget, limiting the resources available for other purposes, including education. Simply increasing government spending on education may no longer be a viable option for federal and state policymakers.Education Spending and Academic Achievement Given the significant increase in resources allocated to public Education, policymakers should consider whether government spending increases have led to improved student outcomes.This will help to determine whether future increases in education spending can be expected to yield tangible improvements for students.Federal spending on Education has also increased dramatically, as shown in Chart 2.Combined federal support and estimated federal tax expenditures for elementary and secondary education has increased by 138 percent (adjusted for inflation) since 1985.