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How’s this for a howler. Government K12 schools spend about twice per student per year than the average American health care expenditures.

9 Responses to “Fun Facts to Know and Tell: Two “Free-Market” Markets Edition”

  1. Greg says:

    Well if we spend more on our kids then they must become smarter, right?

  2. Rod says:

    I don’t think it’s possible to spend too much on our children. They are our future, our hope and change. That’s why I don’t mind it when they spend a whole unit in third grade on Leon Trotsky. Times tables and grammar will hurt their self-esteem.

  3. Rod says:

    What I meant to say was I don’t think it’s possible to spend too much of someone else’s money on our children.

  4. chuck martel says:

    So is health care supposed to be more expensive than education? They’re both way more pricey than they should be.

  5. wintercow20 says:

    Hi Chuck,

    I agree on the spending, my point was that there is an extreme focus on health expenditures and US outcomes vis a vis Europe, but not very much at all. I bet 75% of people surveyed would say we spend more on health per person than on kids. I’d also argue that no one, I mean no one, realizes that whatever negative comparisons we have to Europe and their national health care are worse when we compare our nearly entirely government-run system of education to theirs.

  6. Harry says:

    Wintercow, you both correct on both points. During pre-government retirement welfare, I have spent a lot of money, relatively speaking, on health insurance, tuition, real estate taxes (the bill is due at the end of the month for school taxes, one of my favorite times of the year).

    My expenditures for health insurance over the years were voluntary, out of my own pocket for thirty plus years, for myself and my family, and it has consumed much of my income.

    School taxes have also been a big burden, ever rising. I would complain except for the horrifying burdens of others who have seven-figure property tax bills. For forty years I have worried about $10,000, while two friends, who own local golf courses, pay $50 to $60 thousand dollars per year.

    I know hardly anything about how they handle education in Europe, beyond learning that in France they call them ecoles. The French and the Germans have failed, regardless of whatever systems they have, for three centuries or five or two or more millenia.

    I would suspect whatever statistics are given to compare any expenditures.

    Chuck is right.

  7. chuck martel says:

    OK, the premise is that in the US, education expenditures per K-12 student are twice as big as health expenditures for whom? Everybody? Students? It seems like kind of an apples/oranges comparison. The remarkable aspect of it is that many of the advances in medicine are driven by expensive technological innovation like MRIs and other complicated machinery. Except for the personal computer, there isn’t that kind of advancement in education. We’re still talking about one teacher in front of 35 students for 45 minutes or an hour, pretty much like it was back in the 19th century. The curriculum might be different but the methodology doesn’t seem to have changed much so the increase in cost has to be attributed to things like higher teacher compensation and greater administrative expense. Probably shouldn’t ignore the palatial physical plants that most high schools are today and the cost of student transportation, too. Both of these factors raise the cost of education substantially.

  8. Rod says:

    Until the 19th Century, few people went farther than grammar school. Many communities did not have a public high school and stopped public education at eighth grade. Nonetheless, graduates of eighth grade knew a lot more about English, history and mathematics than lots of high school students know today. And then when high schools became the general standard for public school, those schools had high standards for graduation.

    Certainly there are great public high schools today: Central High and Girls’ High in Philadelphia, New Trier in Winnetka, Horace Greeley in Chappaqua, and Staples in Westport are just a few of them that come to mind. And one can also get a first-class education at our local high school here if one steers his or her way through the best courses and teachers. But overall, far too many public school students haven’t mastered grammar after six years in grammar, and too few students take the applied sciences, chemistry and physics. Computers in elementary school preach about how the whales and polar bears are dying from man-made CO2, and Humanities blends revisionist history with the study of literature not written by dead white men. It sure doesn’t hold a candle to the education I got in four years of private school.

  9. Rod says:

    I meant to say “Until the end of the 19th Century.”

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