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June 15, 2004 Extra Credit
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June 15, 2004

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June 14
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Florida Newspaper -- Teachers’ Unions Focusing on Funding Rather Than Accountability

The following are excerpts from a recent Vero Beach Press Journal editorial:

"We appreciate that the National Education Association is in the business of soliciting more funds for public education. But the country's biggest teachers' union doesn't make a very convincing case in its latest annual report."

"The study shows public-school enrollment rising an estimated 0.8 percent this year while expenditures for K-12 education climbed 4.4 percent. The Education Intelligence Agency put those numbers together and came up with increased spending of $42,375.37 for each new student this year."

"Sacramento, Calif.-based education analyst Mike Antonucci, who calls this ‘more for fewer,’ says a hiring binge by the nation's public schools, driven largely by class-size reduction mandates, accounts for much of the increase."

"Of course, increased spending is necessary when enrollment climbs. But it may surprise taxpayers to know just how far spending has outstripped growth — outlays jumped 74.8 percent in the past decade, a 53 percent increase per pupil."

"And where is that money being spent? Most of it has gone to staffing, including teachers and assorted non-classroom, non-instructional positions."

"Still, the National Education Association and its fellow travelers at the American Federation of Teachers continue to beat the drum for ‘full-funding’ of the No Child Left Behind Act … and bemoan the competition from charter schools and vouchers. Money, not choice or accountability, is the bottom line for these outfits — especially with each new pupil bringing $42,375.37 into the system."

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013