America spends a lot of money on programs that work, and other programs that don’t. Increased government funding to boost education in America has sparked debate. Posing the question, will spending fix America’s education problem?
This is a difficult question to answer for parents, students, and government officials alike. America spends quite a bit already on education. In fact, according to this article from Fortune, America spends more on education than any other developed country in the world.
So how does the U.S. stack up against other developed countries that spend far less on education? Should the government spend less, or spend more on education? The simplest answer to America’s education problem could be a matter of distribution.
The U.S. Spends More, But Ranks Low? The Catch-22 of America’s Education System
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that in 2012 and 2013, nearly $6,700 was spent per student. Those numbers were actually down from 2007 and 2008. Interestingly, only $614 was spent on student support in 2012 and 2013. Leaving quite a gap to be filled. The total GDP across all institutions for education in the U.S. is hovering around 6.4 percent.
Despite the amount of money America dumps into education, Americans are not the smartest in the world. Americans are sadly not even in the top 10. Overall, the U.S. ranked 16 among other industrialized countries. U.S. students ranked 23rd in math as well, leaving much to be desired for education programs.
America’s Education Problem Could be the Result of Poor Funding Channels
There is no doubt that America is spending a lot of money on education. However, why do U.S. students continue to fall short internationally? There are a few key aspects that may be behind the academic decline.
Ineffective teaching methods in classrooms. Poor syllabi prepared by overworked and underpaid teachers. And a failure to allocate funds to the proper channels is another possible element for America’s education problem. Government money is reaching schools, however, funding may not be going toward student education. This is a big problem.
The NCES statistics clearly show the widening gap between money spent on students and money spent on student support. It may be time to redefine what learning means and funding student support services could be a defining aspect of education’s renovation.
Private School Models and Corporate Involvement Could be the Answer
Traditionally, the funding funneled into private schools often gets where it needs to go for results. This could be a lesson for the public schools with low students scores against national averages. The simplest solution could be better use of money over amount.
Private schools generally develop testing for new educational techniques and also incorporate industry trends, such as innovative smart technology in the classroom. If money is not where it needs to be, maybe industry tech leaders could lend a hand as well.
Companies like Intel are making million dollar commitments to improve America’s poor scores in math and science. In fact, the company donated $200 million to teacher training efforts and online education.
It often seems like the government is flushing money down the education drain without showing institutions how to use it properly. This is most certainly true for traditional public schools. Renovating academics in America is an essential element to keeping U.S. relevant in the generations to come. Will policy and spending be reeled in and used more effectively?