Let’s look at the long run and the short run. Since 1993, per-pupil spending, after adjusting for inflation, has increased by 7.2%. Although measures of student performance have been flat over that time period, the long-term trend in spending has clearly been up.
And the short term is no different. Here is an oft-overlooked fact. Since Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011, nominal per-student spending in Wisconsin has increased in every year but one. The one exception to annual per-student increases was 2012. In that year, the state began to feel the effects of the end of the federal stimulus package that had infused more than $700 million into the state’s education coffers, and cuts were required across state government.
Indeed, Act 10, which substantially reduced school personnel costs, was, in part, an attempt to manage that decline in revenue while minimizing a reduction in services. But revenue has rebounded and so has spending.
Madison K-12 spending is up significantly, now near $20k/student.
This, despite long term, disastrous reading results.