5 Uncomfortable Truths About Waste in School Spending

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2. Higher spending does not always translate to higher achievement.

Local and state spending on education is nearing $870 billion annually (for K-12 and higher education)–and it increases every year. Yet, relative achievement has flatlined. WalletHub looked at the most populous US cities, dividing test scores in 4th and 8th grade reading and math by the city’s total per-capita education spending. They also adjusted for socioeconomic factors, including poverty rate and home language. The researchers found that many cities display very inefficient spending. For example, in 2015 Rochester, New York was second in total spending, but had the lowest test scores. Rochester’s average standardized test score was only 24% (Rank), but per capita expenditures were $3,176. Compare that to Grand Rapids, Michigan at 84.99% and $1,237.

Madison spends far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 Districts.

A maintenance spending audit was floated locally several years ago, but I’ve seen no followup reports.