helen-lovejoy-300x248An article in Wyoming Magazine reporting on proposed budget cuts to education deserves some commentary.

First: $45,000,000 cut from the budget, and the most anyone can agree on is that “Children in grades K-12 will potentially also be affected by these budget cuts.” Why were we ever spending those $45,000,000 if they only potentially affected the kids?

Second: Wyoming spends an average of $17,256 for each of the 94,002 children in public education. That’s a lot of money. That’s actually MORE THAN tuition at the University of Wyoming for out of state residents. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but that’s a lot of money. I have a plan to save the state some of that money.

Offer parents vouchers for 40% of that ($6902) to send their children to a private school of their choice. I assure you, it will be a struggle, but private schools will find a way to survive on such a ‘paltry’ sum.

For every student getting a voucher, send 10% to the local school district, to make sure their funding is not savaged by this. That’s $1725 for students that aren’t even there.

The state banks the other 50%, saving $8628 per student. If 10% of the students in the state take advantage of this, it saves the state $81,000,000 dollars.  Local school districts could rent empty classrooms to these private schools further lessening the budgetary impact.

Instead of constant testing to show results to bureaucrats, schools would have to compete and show results to parents. Win-win!

Third: The article concludes with this sentence, “In any situation, everyone agrees that the education of Wyoming’s children is of the up most important consideration for everyone’s future.” This was presumably written by a professional reporter. It was presumably reviewed by an professional editor. At least one of these persons likely went to college. This sentence was published anyway. I definitely think that edumacation in Wyoming needs to be better than it is.

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1 Response to Edumacation

  1. Tyson says:

    That last sentence was a little rough. Thank you for the feedback. However I do not agree with your advocacy of the private educational system. You compare out of state tuition to the funding per student in Wyoming. Keep in mind the University system is also funded by “For Profit” bookstores, licensing deals and many other revenue opportunities when it comes to use of their facilities. Where public school is funded by one source and maybe some small fundraisers on the local level.

    In 2013 for example the total funding for UW (tuition, state money, federal money, everything) of $260,818,497 if divided by the student population of 12,627 (todays population, sorry could not find historical data) would make the cost per student around $21,000.

    If you want the private school model that is perfectly fine but there is a reason that nationwide the private schools are reserved for the higher income earning families in our society. The reason is because although tuition might be funded via the voucher system everything else will be paid for by parents. Athletic uniforms, books, supplies, and anything else they can push your way.

    It would also be a struggle getting teachers to switch over to a private school for less money and benefits. The reality is in a state with the population of Wyoming the private system breaks down and is unable to support itself. The quality of Education decreases and the only people who suffer are the students.

    Either way the funding argument is not a sound argument when it comes to private vs public education and your facts about funding at the University Level vs K-12 Level were like comparing apples to rocks.

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