We’ve all seen the numbers and they are all bad. With the exception of Switzerland, we spend the most per pupil for their public education. Only 77% of our students actually graduate compared to 90% in western Europe. Standard test scores show our students fairing very poorly compared with their counterparts in other countries. What are we going to do about it? That is the question everyone should be asking themselves.
So the solution is obvious: shut down the schools and invest the money instead. Just let the kids stay home and study on the Internet. Let’s even save some money to reduce the deficit, and only invest $11,000 per year. At 7% return, each child would have a $391,000 IRA when they’re 18. That way, even if they spend the next 50 years surfing or hiking the Appalachian Trail, they would all retire at 68 with $12,512,000 (assuming the same 7% average yearly return). This solves not only the education crisis, but the Social Security problem (they wouldn’t need it) AND the health-budget crisis (how much heart disease could there be, if everyone spent their time surfing and hiking?)
That tongue-in-cheek solution comes from Bill Walker writing for LewRockwell.Com.. Mr. Walker then turns serious. He looked into the costs of private education in his adopted state of New Hampshire. where they spend on average $14,000 per year per student This is what he found:
The Well School in Peterborough charges $7,360 for grades 1–4 and $8,800 for grades 5–8. Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton is $12,160 for grades 1–8. Monadnock Waldorf School costs $7800 for all grades. Here’s the fee schedule for St. Joseph Regional in Keene: “Tuition for grades K-8 for Catholics is $3,153, and $4,412 for non-Catholics. There is a 5 percent discount for one-time payment in full, and a discount for multiple children from a family.”
The Tilton School charges $17,300 for grade 9–12 students… but they offer an indoor hockey rink, a full size theatre, a Creative Art Center and access to Gunstock ski resort. When do the students have time for math with all that skiing and hockey, anyway? But it’s true, if your private school only spends $8000 for grades K–8, you can splurge a little on the prom and the ski lodge when you’re a senior.
So private education is actually cheaper and it is also better. What a surprise. Mr. Walker ends with this:
But the debate today is framed by the Department of Education and the teachers’ unions. They constantly shriek that “education needs more money.” Fine. As a first step, let’s just agree with them. Education does need more money… and the only way to get more money for actual education is to give it to the parents, not the bureaucracy. Let the NEA explain why it’s OK for politicians’ (and NEA members’) children to go to private schools, but the children of working people have to go to some of the lowest-quality public schools in the developed world….
And pay more for it.
Read the whole article. It is worth it.