Nevada should double the amount it now spends on public education

In his Sunday commentary on school expenditures, Robert Fellner opines that because Clark County per-pupil spending on education has increased 66 percent since 1967, the public school system does not need an increase in funds in order to improve education in our state. However, a percent increase can be a misleading number because it is so dependent on the starting number.

A more realistic way to judge how much we are spending relative to states with highly successful school districts is to compare absolute dollars spent per pupil. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau Report on Public Education Finances 2013, Clark County spends $8,023 per pupil annually. That puts us just below Mississippi (the fifth-lowest state in the country) which spends $8,130.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, each known for excellent public education, spend between $16,000 and $20,000 per pupil annually.

So I agree with Mr. Fellner. After decades of failure in our schools, something should change. We should do what we can to rival states with outstanding schools and double our per-pupil spending on public education. Pulling money out of public education and placing it in private education accounts will only worsen public education in Nevada.

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