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Funding for K-12 Schools

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By 2005, the US held the first place in annual spending for every student enrolled in public schools, second to Switzerland. Each student spends over $11,000 annually with some (like WashingtonD.C. school district) spending over $12,979 every year. Yet this high level of funding does not seem to produce results comparable to other developed nations with lower funding. The areas that the US ranks lowest in student potential are math, science, reading and writing in that order.

High funding is not the answer to the problems troubling the American public school system. Back in 1985, a Missouri judge ordered the Kansas City school district to increase public education funding by raising taxes. Within a year, the district spent more than the 280 largest US school districts (Gatto 6-11). For ten years, the funding was maintained and yet in that decade, academic performance in the district went on a downward spiral. In the 2006-2007 year, Marva Collin’s private school in the Chicago district charged $5,500 per child for tuition, and had students perform better with a whooping 73% than the Chicago public schools. Yet in that same year, the Chicago public school district officials announced that their $11,300 per student budget was inadequate.

The subjects common across the United States public schools include, sciences (chemistry biology and physics), mathematics (algebra, algebra II, geometry, pre-calculus, and trigonometry), English, social science (history, government, and economics), foreign languages, physical education and in many states, health (First aid, sexuality, birth control, nutrition and anatomy).

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