Will More Money Improve Student Performance?

Click for audio Will More Money Improve Student Performance?

Nearly everyone agrees that the performance of Michigan’s public school students needs improvement, but not everyone agrees on how to accomplish this important goal.

Some argue that more money will help students achieve better scores. But spending on public education in Michigan has soared 463 percent since 1970 and too many students are still struggling to make the grade.

Where is all the money going? According to a recent study, an average of 83 percent of all public education spending goes to pay the salaries and benefits of employees.

It’s important that good teachers be paid well, but 53 percent of Michigan’s public education employees never set foot in a classroom. As education spending has increased, the ratio of these nonteachers to teachers in Michigan schools has exploded by 75 percent.

If we spent even more money on teachers and classroom equipment, would students really learn better? Study after study has shown that parental involvement, not cash, is the single most important factor in a child’s education.

Students learn best when their parents are most involved in the learning process. Reforming education will require more than just another dose of the almighty dollar.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.