Boots & Sabers

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0711, 18 Sep 18

More money has not, and will not, improve education for our children

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online now. Go pick up a paper, but here’s a snippet:

A couple of insights bubble to the top after wading through the data. First, Wisconsin’s schools are fairly decent, for the most part, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Second, the performance has remained fairly consistent for the years despite taxpayers spending more and more every year.

This makes the politicians’ response all too disappointing. Tony Evers, the Democratic candidate for governor, has one answer to every question about education: Spend more money. This is despite the fact that spending more has no measurable impact on educational outcomes. Gov. Scott Walker has had a strong record of actual education reform, but has fallen into the same spending paradigm. This election, he is hanging his hat on the fact that Wisconsin increased spending on education and is spending more than ever.

The reason that politicians conflate more government spending with improving educational outcomes is as lazy as it is stupid. It is an easy way for them to demonstrate that they are “doing something.” In fact, they are doing nothing but wasting more money. The outcomes matter — not the spending.


0711, 18 September 2018


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    More money on a corporate project has same results as well.   You give R&D money and you never here from them again.  Public schools consume in much the same way.

    Innovation, change, and creativity rarely needs funding from the top.

  2. jjf

    Gee, could rising costs be the reason?  Nah, let’s just wave our hands.

  3. dad29

    “Rising costs” of what?  Utilities?  Be serious.  Maintenance?  They don’t do that in the schools any more.  Bonding?  Not in the last 10 years.

    Oh…..wait…….you mean paying educators more!!  A cost which is clearly un-controllable, like the price of petroleum.  Riiiiiight.

  4. Le Roi du Nord

    Wow, this is really silly: ” You give R&D money and you never here from them again”.

    And so is this: “Innovation, change, and creativity rarely needs funding from the top”.

    If k had his way we would still be in the stone age….

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