School Information System
Newsletter Sign Up |

Subscribe to this site via RSS: | Newsletter signup | Send us your ideas

April 2, 2008

Wisconsin Per Student Spending Drops in National Rankings from 11th to 17th, Remains Above Average

Alan Borsuk:

For better or worse - and you could get heated arguments about it - Wisconsin appears to be well on its way to becoming a middle-of-the-pack state when it comes to the amount of money put into grade school and high school education.

Wisconsin collected the 17th highest amount per student in taxes to pay for education in 2005-'06, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report released Tuesday. And the gap between Wisconsin and the national average was less than $400.

A decade earlier, the state ranked 11th, and education revenue per student was almost $800 more than the average.

Those indicators mesh with other data, such as reports on teacher salaries nationwide, that indicate spending on education in Wisconsin remains above national averages but is moving down.

The heated debate about what that all means would come from people such as Republicans in the state Legislature who have argued for years that taxes are too high and education spending should be brought into line with other states, and school district officials and teachers organizations that claim services and staff are being cut because of spending caps that have been in place for almost 15 years.

Related by Pete Selkowe:
This gloomy Monday brings another of those reports about Wisconsin's economy guaranteed to add to your malaise. (Like last week's report on the county's slow real estate value growth, Property values, the have's and the have not's.)

Today's report -- Measuring Success: Benchmarks for a Competitive Wisconsin -- grades the state (alas, no curve, no Gentleman's C) by comparing us to other states. Sit down before you read further, because the news isn't good.

-- For example: Wisconsin's per capita income is $34,476, compared to the national average of $36,629, a difference of 5.9% (and the largest gap since 1991). The comparison is worse when our incomes are matched against folks in Illinois ($38,297) and Minnesota ($38,751).

-- Not only do our jobs not pay as much, but we're not growing very many more of them. In 2006, the number of Wisconsin jobs increased 0.7%, down from a growth rte of 1.1% in 2004 and 1.2% in 2005. Wisconsin trails the national average of 1.8% job growth.

-- How about the growth in private businesses? The number of new private businesses in Wisconsin dropped 0.4% in 2006, while the number of businesses nationally grew 2.5%. All of Wisconsin’s neighbors had increases in 2006.

The study is released annually by Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI), a nonpartisan consortium of state agriculture, business, education and labor leaders. Measuring Success grades Wisconsin on 33 areas of interstate competitiveness; compared to our performance in past years, 17 benchmarks changed this year: eight improvements and nine declines.

K-12 Tax & Spending climate summary. Channel3000 has more.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at April 2, 2008 8:02 AM
Subscribe to this site via RSS/Atom: Newsletter signup | Send us your ideas