The tragicomic state of public education

by Russ Roberts on October 23, 2007

in Education

Are your local property taxes too low? Feel like the public schools aren’t getting enough funding? After all, spending per student has only DOUBLED over the last 40 years and increased almost every year for the last 25 years or so. But we know it’s not enough. Well now you can make a difference. You can contribute even more than what you’re forced to contribute through your property taxes. At DonorsChoose.org, you can help the cash-starved public schools finally get the resources they need! This is not from the Onion:

DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students
in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this
not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for
materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas
become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call
Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.

Proposals
range from "Magical Math Centers" ($200) to "Big Book Bonanza" ($320),
to "Cooking Across the Curriculum" ($1,100). Any individual can search
such proposals by areas of interest, learn about classroom needs, and
choose to fund the project(s) they find most compelling. In completing a project, donors receive a feedback package of student photos and thank-you notes, and a teacher impact letter.

   

The tragedy is that creative teachers probably do struggle to find funding for creative projects. That’s because they’re in public schools. There is little or no incentive for funding increases to please the customers, be they students or their parents.

Alas, In 2007, donors have already funded $4,176,945 worth of resources for  students through  DonorsChoose. Please, if you are one of those donors, give your money elsewhere. Help students get out of a system that wastes resources on such an extraordinary scale. Give to a charity that helps students get into private schools where there is at least some accountability. Go here, then choose your state, and then select "Private Scholarship Groups" to find a charity in your state.

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