D.C.'s Distinction: $16,344 Per Student, But Only 12% Read Proficiently
Posted Mar 23, 2006
The District of Columbia spends far more money per student in its public elementary and secondary schools each year than the tuition costs at many private elementary schools, or even college-preparatory secondary schools. Yet, District 8th-graders ranked dead last in 2005 in national reading and math tests.
D.C.'s public elementary and secondary schools spent a total of $16,334 per student in the 2002-2003 school year, according to a Department of Education study. That compares to the $10,520 tuition at St. John's College High School, a District Catholic school that sends almost all its graduates to four-year colleges.
Last year, however, only 12% of 8th-graders in the District's public schools scored at grade-level proficiency or better in reading in the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress tests that were administered in the District and all 50 states. Only 7% of the District's public-school 8th-graders scored grade-level proficiency or better in math.
Not one U.S. state can boast that a majority of the 8th-graders in its public schools last year had achieved grade-level proficiency or better in either reading or math.
How much money did your state spend per pupil while failing to adequately educate in reading and math the majority of students in its public schools? The answers are in the chart below.
They eloquently make the case for school choice.
The state spending figures below are the total median expenditure per student as reported in "Revenues and Expenditures by Public School Districts: School Year 2002-03," published by the Department of Education in November 2005. The NAEP 8th-grade reading and math scores were published by the Department of Education in October 2005.
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