Friday, March 03, 2006

State Funding, Percentage Rankings, and Choice

John Biver of the Family Taxpayer Network wrote this great piece. Yet another reason to vote no on all education referenda.

State Funding, Percentage Rankings, and Choice
By John Biver

After reading the rants of those who want ever more of your tax dollars, you may think that anyone arguing for better financial management in the public schools hates children. Actually, Illinois taxpayers love kids – and have been showing it by increasing funding at twice the rate of inflation for over twenty years. Illinois schools are not poorly funded.

First, a note about “state funding” versus “local funding.” The state maintains the ultimate responsibility for funding public schools since local governments are subject to the state.

Some would have you believe that the current system results from the state government shunning its responsibility. On the contrary, it was the citizens of the state deciding that local control of public education funding was preferable to having all decisions emanate from Springfield.

The current hullabaloo over state funding results from the simple fact that the public school establishment doesn’t like that too many local citizens are saying ‘no’ to ever increasing taxes by voting down referendums. Since local taxpayers won’t give them what they want, they turn to calling the state government bad names.

Illinois’ rankings show that Illinois schools are not poorly funded: (Source: NEA Rankings & Estimates, 2004)

Nationally, Illinois is:

* 3rd in public school revenue as a percentage of combined state and local revenues

* 11th in K-12 public school spending per student (average daily attendance)

* 14th in public school revenue per student (average daily attendance)

To view the rest of the article click here.

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