Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heritage Foundation: $10 billion teacher jobs fund will be inefficient

The “Education Jobs Fund” under consideration in Washington will spend $10 billion to save 140,000 teachers’ jobs. But, the Heritage Foundation points out this means taxpayers will spend $70,000 for each teacher’s job saved. Since the average teacher salary in the nation is $54,000, Heritage points out that $16,000 per teacher is going to disappear before it hits any teacher’s paycheck.

Thus, this federal fund will 'evaporate' $2 billion somewhere into the education monolith without any of that reaching our teachers.

Sadly, spending a lot more money on education that teachers never see is nothing new in Kentucky.

As the green shaded area in the table below shows, since KERA began, the Kentucky Department of Education reports there has been a massive increase in real, inflation-adjusted spending in our school system. In constant, 2009 inflation-adjusted dollars, total expenditures on education in Kentucky’s public school system rose from $3.584 billion in the last school term before the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 took effect to $5.553 billion as of the most recently available data. That’s a 54.9 percent increase in real spending.

But, our teachers didn’t get an equitable share.

My analysis of data in the Kentucky Department of Education’s latest classroom teacher salary report, shown in the yellow shaded area of the table, indicates the real increase in our teachers’ salaries between the 1989-90 and 2008-09 school terms was much lower, at only 12.6 percent.

So, where did all the money go? Click on this new Wiki item to find out how Kentucky’s total education spending skyrocketed while teachers got left behind.

The same Wiki item also lists all the source information for the table above.

So far as the latest federal teacher bailout goes, it looks like another $2 billion will never reach our teachers, simply vanishing into the education monolith in unknown ways. Such inefficiency is something we simply cannot afford.

And, a ton of Kentucky’s own money has already been siphoned off over the past two decades before our teachers ever saw it, as well.

In fact, maybe our teachers should ask their own union why that happened. Check out the Wiki item for more on that, as well.

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