We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What I can't figure in this is most teachers I have known make a modest wage. My wife is a Master's degreed speech therapist making almost 40k per annum after 10 years on the job.
I would love to see how much of this money actually makes to the classroom. I have a friend in California who has a job helping construction companies clear environmental regulations to build schools. They have contracts to build new schools for a decade-no kidding. Point is he is being paid out of the public trough.
There seems to be an industry built around but nothing to do with a good education. The education industrial complex?
I would argue that education costs, like so much else in government, are built in, institutionalized through legislation, regulation, mandates, a raft of compliance requirements, the EPA, the various state enviro regs, building codes and other built-in cost escalators designed to insure one thing: Job protection and growth in the federal, state, and local bureaucracies together with some rewards to private sector contractors.
In fact, to really reform government at all levels will require undoing/reforming much of this legislation, mandates, compliance requirements, the EPA, state enviros, etc. so as to actually make it legal to cut down the size and cost of government. It is a gargantuan task, to be sure, just the way the bureaucrats intended. Who could wade through this morass and make any sense out of it?
We have created this monster over the past 40 years, especially, since the Great Society days of LBJ. Problem is it has only grown despite lip service promises from Republicans to roll it back. It first requires one helluva of an about-face in voter attitudes, a "crisis" mentality just as the Dem-Progs have used against us. Perhaps the Tea Party is on to something, we can only hope.
A big part of the problem is that our children are no more intelligent than we were.
There is a natural limit to how much a child can learn, and most of that limit is set before the state gets their hands on the kid.
And yes, as greenmtnpunter notes, a LOT of that cost is in non-classroom crap. People often (rightly) complain about the teachers unions because they don't know about the building maintence engineers unions (aka "janitors unions"). In California janitors often make more than the teachers. For sweeping floors, emptying trashbins and changing lightbulbs.
Then there is the proliferation of second-assistant-vice-principals-in-charge-of-discipline (if only they DID discipline), counselors, and etc.
William O. B'Livion
The above comments are so on the mark! In the early 70's, some parents wanted to repaint the gray, basement-level meeting/lunchroom for the teachers. A local contractor agreed to provide the paint, ladders, brushes, rollers, etc. plus one of his crew to tape off the ceiling and trim. Janitors' union said no way. The room remained in disrepair until the school was demolished last year.
Let's get rid of the Dept of Education and Federal monies. Local, local, local is better, better, better. There is no way that the problems facing NYC are the same as those in Ponca City, OK.
For more than 40 years now, two generations, a concerted effort has been made to dumb down the citizenry of this country, and it has been a largely successful effort, as that chart demonstrates, all the while serving the financial needs of those engaged in that task.
Those who believe that they have the right to dominate the rest of us - the so-called ruling class - are determined to rob our children of their birthright to a decent education because an ignorant citizenry is much easier to control, to manipulate, to defraud.