Teacher unions got on board with the idea that inner-city schools fail not because of the racism of the teachers, the premise of Kozol’s first book, but because they have less money to spend than more successful suburban schools. Give us as much money as the best suburban schools, the unions say, and we will produce successful urban schools. Since the 1990s, it has become a mantra of the liberal mindset that if we throw enough money at a social problem, we will solve that problem. In America, the Almighty Dollar (a regular liberal alternative to Almighty God) can buy us out of our dilemmas. The faults Mr. Kozol saw in Boston could be solved if we “invested” more in our schools, in our youth, in the urban poor, and in “creative programs” to renew the practices of our failing schools.
New York State spent $22,366 per pupil in 2016, which was a 14% increase in expenses from 2012. As recently as 1995, the expenditure was $9,500 per pupil. These increases have mainly been in the areas of salary, benefits, and support services.
However, as per pupil expenditures have skyrocketed over the decades, so has the increase in school bureaucracies, and declines in SAT and ACT scores for college admissions. In fact, the College Board in 1995 readjusted its SAT scoring so scores in both math and reading were skewed significantly upward. Other scoring “adjustments” have been made over the years to improve score results.
Madison spends about $20k per student, far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts.
Yet, we have long tolerated disastrous reading results.