Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Half-Truth from the Rev. and State Senator James Meeks

I have come to expect tax hikers to tell half-truths. We hear them from income/sales tax hike cheerleader Ralph Martire all the time.

He continually emphasizes that Illinois ranks 49th in educational spending, although sometimes he hints there may be more money from local sources.

That is a half-truth. Illinois may rank 49th or 48th in state aid to education, but, to be honest, one must consider state and LOCAL financial assistance to our public schools and tell what that ranking is. Anything less is deliberate deception…propaganda of the worst kind.

I put this more bluntly last year on Jeff Trigg’s blog:

The "big lie" technique was used at least three times today. Illinois is 49th in school funding, a lie, if one is trying to characterize how well Illinois schools are funded with tax money, compared to other states.

We may or may not be 49th in the STATE share, but we most certainly are not 49th when state and local taxes are combined.
After combining educational funding financed by both state and local tax dollars, the Illinois ranking is usually put in the twenties. About half the states are higher and half lower. According to the American Legislative Exchange Council,Illinois has been in that position since the 1970's. I think the NEA Table H-8 to the left confirms ALEC's findings. The largest teachers' union's statisticians say Illinois ranks 21st in per captal expenditurs for K-12.

But, maybe Illinois ranks even higher.

In "current expenditures...per student," the National Education Association found us to rank 10th in 2003-2004, if I read Table 5 in last year's report and the more recent Table H-16 to the right correctly. Last year's report ranked Illinois the highest midwestern state, with Wisconsin ranking 13th and Minnesota coming in at 18th.

(I researched this at many sources last year. You can find those notes here.)

Here’s how Meeks is quoted in the Chicago Tribune today:
My concerns are not allayed by [the new budget] because even with the money in this budget, for education we still rank 49th out of 50.”
Perhaps truth takes a hit when a minister goes into politics.

Or, maybe, he said more, but the Tribune did not have space for a qualification of that half-truth.

Also posted at McHenry County Blog where you can read what the Chicago Crime Commission is doing in McHenry County.


Levois 12:12 PM  

I know Rev. Meeks is trying to get more money for the schools on the far south side, but it think he's wrong on trying to just get more money for the public schools. I remember that people like Arne Duncan was at some rally trying to advocate for more money for the city schools. They seem to have been doing this for a decade or so. Money is not the issue here. Whether we are ranked 25th or 49th in school funding.

Yellow Dog Democrat 12:58 PM  

Cal -

Senator Meeks is absolutely correct. The current school funding system shortchanges our kids. Combined funding levels for our schools fall far short of what is recommended by education experts.

There is no denying that Illinois is balancing it's budget on the backs of school children.

Your post points out another truth though. It isn't only our local school children that bear the brunt, it is also local property taxpayers -- including our seniors, our families, and local businesses -- that are bearing more than their fair share of the load.

You, as a former state representative, should take a long, hard look in the mirror, instead of throwing stones at others, because you are just as responsible for the current system as anybody else, and Illinois has you to thank for our high property tax bills.

grand old partisan 1:29 PM  

YDD, don’t pretty much all people and businesses that pay local property taxes also pay personal and corporate income taxes?

If you lower local property taxes, you have to increase the amount that comes from the state in order to simply maintain, let alone increase, combined school funding. How do you do that? You have to increase personal and corporate income taxes. That’s why it’s called a swap. But make no mistake about it, this swap is no fair trade. For most people (ie, families and local businesses) the income tax increase will be far greater than the property tax relief...meaning a net increasing in their tax burden...meaning they will be bearing and even greater “share of the load.”

The truth is that you can’t increase combined school funding without increasing the combined tax burden in some way on some group of people. Period. So who is that group going to be?

respectful 2:09 PM  

Is Cal right that it's misleading to complain that IL ranks 49th in ed spending without specifying that he's referring only to state spending? Of course.

Extreme Wisdom 3:59 PM  

Cal wrote:

That is a half-truth. Illinois may rank 49th or 48th in state aid to education, but, to be honest, one must consider state and LOCAL ....etc.

It isn't really a half truth, it is a bald-faced lie. The entire HB750 (State v. Local Funding) debate proves this by the simple fact that it dictates the disposition of local property taxes.

The property tax for schools is a STATE AUTHORIZED tax. Therefore, the state funds 100% (minus federal $$, of course) of the bill.

The "49th in funding" is NOT a half truth, it is 98% a lie. Vote down enough referenda at the local level, and the mandates and contract bloat go on autopilot and trigger a state take over (see Round Lake and Winthrop Harbor)

Martrie and Meeks are nothing but demogogic propagandists fighting for more payroll & pension piggery. The idea that it is "for the children" is a crock.

Meeks is correct about shortchanging kids, but his answers prove whose interests he is really looking out for - Fat Unions.

There is only way to "equalize funding." Unify school spending from ONE source (State) and EQUALLY fund every child at about $7,000, allowing the parent to choose the schools.

Turn every public school into an independent charter, abolish the legal fiction of a "District" and send the fat Administrators to the Unemployment lines.

The current system is the clear equal protection violation, and no Ralph and James, there isn't enough money in IL to spend $17,000/ child/ year.

Any town that actually IS spending that much is engaging egregious waste, fraud, abuse of parents, children & taxpayers.

In closing, has any one see the recent National Geographic survey? Public Education is an utter and complete failure, and doesn't deserve another dime in its current configuration.

Fund Children, not Systems or Districts.

Extreme Wisdom 4:17 PM  


My guess is that you and I will differ greatly on this issue, but the fact is that you appear to be operating on the notion that WE MUST INCREASE FUNDING to improve education.

I reject that notion, and when confronted with facts, most other people do to.

While most agree that every child deserves equal access to a decent education, the idea that we need to make Maywood equal to River Forest (seperated by a River) is absurd on it's face.

The last River Forest Superintendent pension pig here saw a 4 year, $84,000 compensation boost (wholly manufactured by a supine legislature), retired with an artificially bloated pension (wholly manufactured by a supine legislature), and now 'consults' with Districts to find yet more useless Superintendents (at a $14,000/head hunt fee).

You tell me how this spending on this pig (multiplied by 1000s of similar adminstrators/teachers across the state) connected one neuron in one child's head. It didn't.

[Note: I am not calling rank an file voters (Dem or Rep.) who are concerned about education "pigs." They are simply misinformed as to what constitutes "an educated populace."

OTOH, I make no apologies for calling anyone who took fat end-of-career bonuses for the purpose of artificially (and acturarilly unsound) fattened pensions "pigs," for that is what they are.]

Jose,  6:53 PM  

Fund kids not districts
that is the solution

steve schnorf 7:36 PM  

So, Wisdom, since you argue that local property tax funding for schools is effectively state taxes, does that equally apply to local financial support for park districts, firefighters, police, 708 boards, etc? That doesn't make much sense to me.

As far as Senator Meeks' comment, he was talking about the State of Illinois budget, and we are desparately low in the rankings of what support we provide from state tax funds for k-12 education. I think that point is very valid on its face, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see it.

As to the other major issue, whether increased or adequate funding alone will improve all underperforming schools, that certainly doesn't seem to be the case. And no one I've heard, including Ralph Martire, argues that we need to average up all schools to the level of per pupil spending of say a New Trier.

But, as long as we base the majority of our k-12 funding on local property taxes, property poor districts are going to be aat a very great disadvantage. Right now, some of the very highest education property tax rates are in some of the very poorest communities in the state. It would break my back financially (and probably yours) to pay the education tax rates in many of those communities, And the sad thing is, it doesn't raise them much money.

And by the way, tell suburban lesgislators that they are going to vote to bring suburban school funding down to $7000 per pupil/year all in and see how long it takes many of them to tell you that their constituents won't stand for it. The schools are why many of those taxpayers have chosen to live in those districts and pay those taxes.

Unfortunately, this problem doesn't appear to lend itself to simplistic solutions, or someone would have solved it long ago. And by the way, the practices of the local school disricts you rail about are set by a board elected by local taxpayers in every district in the state, save one.

Oh, and residential property tax rates are pretty low in Chicago. I would love to pay them here in Springfield. But you are right, to properly fund schools, we are going to need a net increase out of an income tax increase and a property tax decrease, and it will have to come from someone. It's going to have to come from people like me, not people who make $30 or $40,000 a year. It's going to have to come from the people who currently live places where they pay property taxes of $12,000 to $50,000 per years, and they are not going to get as much back in property tax relief as they pay in incresed income taxes. You can't take it from poor people.

Anonymous,  8:59 PM  

Some of these suburban administrators pensions and salaries are ridiculous

Cal Skinner 9:35 PM  

In the interest of full disclosure, Steve, are you a director of Martire's board of directors?

Jeff Trigg 11:15 PM  

District 51 in Washington, IL (where I grew up) spends the least per pupil in the state - about $4500. Their test scores are very well above average and actually higher than Roundout (the highest per pupil spent in the state - about $24,000) for 5th grade reading. District 51 is one of the very few districts that do not have a collective bargaining agreement in place for teacher salaries, yet the teachers still average $39.000 per year.

Everyone wants to talk about needing more money to improve education, but few (Including Republicans) want to talk about needing to reform teacher performance issues to improve education. I contend the biggest problem is NOT money, it is the teacher's unions and I base that contention on the evidence that District 51 very clearly illustrates.

Before one additional dollar is spent or ANY tax is increased, if they don't discuss teacher performance issues, tenure, teacher's pensions, and true accountability, along with other issues I probably have no clue about, we simply can not trust at all that their motives are pure when it concerns improving education. If they care at all about the children (instead of the huge teacher unions campaign contributions) they would be willing to just listen to other ideas about education improvements.

Until Meeks, Martire, and the lot of them come out publicly and say we need to investigate all aspects towards improving education (including why District 51 is doing so well with less) there is no other logical conclusion to make than to believe they are bought and paid for by the most powerful unions in Illinois and can't be trusted with our children.

*thanks for the plug Cal

steve schnorf 1:47 AM  

Cal, yes I am. I joined the board of CTBA after I retired. I joined because they were the only group I saw taking a straightforward and public stand on education inequalities in this state.

No, I don't agree with Ralph on everything, but truthfully, I don't agree with much of anyone on everything. Being on the board does allow me to have at least some decent insight into what Ralph says and doesn't say.

And by the way, from time to time I take a look at your site, and I want to tell you that the debate that has been going on among bloggers on your site regarding what needs to be done to improve k-12 education is among the best I've ever seen. It is a credit to you, your site, and the people who post. But, I would have expected no less from you.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger 1:52 AM  

Well, if the general point is valid that the state is not funding education (in fact, we are 49th for state funding), which means that wealthy areas can afford to pay for their schools while poor areas just can't, then it is totally legit to remind people that we still rank 49th out of 50 in terms of state funding. That's not a lie. That's just making the point that state funding is very, very low. And that is the worst thing about state government. Now, it's also legitimate to argue that we should require a longer school day and a longer school year and make it much easier to fire bad teachers, but none of those points cloud the major problem of a lack of state funding for education that force poor kids into poor schools and thus, likely, poor futures. In fact, I'd say it's a little dishonest to call Senator Meeks' comments on 49th out of 50th in terms of funding a lie!

Jeff Trigg 2:40 AM  

Dan, if I may address a few of your points.

"That's just making the point that state funding is very, very low. And that is the worst thing about state government."

Corruption and wasteful spending would be strong contenders for the "worst" thing about our state government, in my opinion. I'd say anti-democratic election laws contribute, but you know that...

"Now, it's also legitimate to argue that we should require a longer school day and a longer school year and make it much easier to fire bad teachers, but none of those points cloud the major problem of a lack of state funding for education that force poor kids into poor schools and thus, likely, poor futures."

In particular, unless I am misinterpreting, "the major problem of a lack of state funding for education that force poor kids into poor schools".

State funding does not force poor kids into poor schools. Arbitrary addresses force kids into "poor" schools. (I'd preface that by saying bad schools considering the "poorest" district in the state in D-51 in Washington, IL is not bad). My suggestion would then be if you think it is bad to force students into "poor" schools (you really mean bad schools since money is NOT the only factor) then stop doing it based solely on address.

What is wrong with letting accelerated students learn together? What is wrong with letting "slower", "challenged" students learn together? What is wrong with letting students' achievements and their parents decide to "force" students into schools that fit them best?

Forcing students into only one school wihout another choice (unless they have a few thousand of their own money to spend per child) based on an address is therefor a BIGGER problem than state spending even with your logic.

I can see where Meeks/Martire's 49th contention could possibly be considered a lie, but you have to admit it is entirely disenginuous and misleading as an accurate statistic on how well our education system is funded.

Can I tell Illinois and the Feds I only made $2,000 this year based on only one of my sources of income? Or do I have to tell them ALL of my sources of income? Some people would be LOCKED IN A CAGE for making not too dis-similar claims as what Meeks/Martire are making. Be honest, if the label of "lie" doesn't fit, you MUST admit that the claim is disengenuous and misleading at the least. And that claim doesn't inspire much credibility does it?

steve schnorf - thanks for your service to Illinois. I envy you and truly appreiacte your personal interest and time spent. Now do what you can to get Martire et all to just start considering other educational performance increasing ideas OTHER than more money. It is your duty as an American and Illinoisan to entice them to consider why District 51 does so well with soo little and to learn from the answer they get (which is teacher performance based pay).

I'm sorry, but you (and they and everyone else) fail to have any credibility until you address more than JUST the money issue.

Extreme Wisdom 8:26 AM  

Steve asked:

So, Wisdom, since you argue that local property tax funding for schools is effectively state taxes, does that equally apply to local financial support for park districts, firefighters, police, 708 boards, etc? That doesn't make much sense to me.

My Response:

I do know that much of what goes on at the local level is capable of being dictated by the state.

Home Rule is one example of the state 'managing' the process of just how much control of local taxation (among other things) a municipality can have.

The fact remains that the legislature CAN zero out property taxes for education if they wish.

You later make the point that the suburban white mice "won't stand for" reducing spending on the schools.

You may be right, but that's a political issue. I know that more and more people won't stand for the obscene property taxes or the outright malfeasance that goes on the districts.

Politically, I would love to see just how "impossible" it is to pass a 60% reduction in most people's property taxes.

For my part, your critique about "simple solutions" is one of the main points that needs to be addressed.

The supporters of the status quo (Martire, The Education Industry and their purchased political class) have purposefull created an unnecessarily complex Rube Goldberg contraption. Every time a reasonable reform is proposed, they hide behind all of that complexity, complaining that some issue or another prevents reform.

It is my view that this system is breaking down, and that there can only be benefits from smashing it.

You are correct that many of the doped white mice in the Suburbs are brainwashed into believing that their absurd spending is getting them a good education.

The fact is that $7,000/student is plenty to educate virtually anyone.

The reason I chide the Meeks of the world is that they use their constituents as a stick to beat on this current system's inequalities, only to get more funds in the door of this same corrupt system.

I'll take Meeks seriously when he starts talking about breaking down and radically reforming the system that has so poorly served his people.

The fact remains that we can have a better education system for less net dollars. It is time to start thinking about one thing and one thing only. What serves the child?

Let's be honest. The current model of never-ending payroll and pension bloat does not serve anyone's interest save the protected class that created said system.

THEY should be the ones to pay, simply by going away.

Fund Children, Not systems. It has a nice ring to it.

4Piggybanks2 11:19 AM  

Speaking of "pork" and education funding........ and teaching our kids to tell the truth

1. Since the "49th out of 50" comment isn't presenting an accurate picture/the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then I would just lump it as another scare tactic to push people into tossing more money at a system that is a bottomless, mismanaged financial pit. Sound bites work - even when they're "wrong" and the School Industry handlers, etc. know it.

2. If this is the type of "truth" level we're teaching our kids, we should remember that, they, too, will one day be politicians, CEOS, educators and so on. Should this make us proud? Partial product truths can kill us. Partial facts get us into wars. If we worry so much about calling a comment technically legal, we can be sure there's more that isn't being said.

3. Keeping it simple, follow the money. Today's paper talks about the "pork" in the pending budget. And in other recent news - School Industry people are revving up the locals/parents/so-called grass roots soldiers to tell "The Government" they want more money for education. I keep asking them and others the same basic question (aside from fixing bad financial management, excessive benefits, etc.) - "Exactly what is 'The Government" supposed to take money away from to pour into a broken school system?" (Do we cut aid to destitute moms who can't afford baby formula? How about aid to the homeless, does that get chopped?) No one has an answer. Period. Still the chant and wear matching shirts and demand more money from "The Government". And, ultimately, WE ..... ARE..... "The Government"! Every tax dollar comes out of our pockets not from a space ship from the planet Xena.

4. As to the school boards elected by a sleeping and sheeplike population, while some board members are well-intentioned they are often clueless about business. Others are school industry slanted drones. They protect their own. Some school board members don't even realize they're being tolerated and worked around by administrators. The few who risk going against the tide are usually attacked professionally and personally. This isn't my idea of a great America or great American school system.

It was much easier knowing a lot less about the School Industry but living in Fantasy World only gets us more of the same bankrupting baloney. How many decades will the School Industry keep doing what doesn't work?


Our kids (the Littlest Taxpayers) and our adult taxpayers are not being well-SERVED by these paid public servants and elected public servants.

steve schnorf 12:04 PM  

Wisdom, it's a political issue, but that's the world we live in. Solutions that are impossible to implement aren't solutions, they are wishful thinking.

vern,  2:11 PM  

The 2005 school spending figures have recently been released by the Illinois State Board of Education and can be dowloaded from the ILEARN webpage ( The average district spent $9,099 per student, a 3.5 percent increase from the FY2004.

Former Education Secretary Rod Paige once said, "What determines a child's future isn't how much is spent, but how wisely that money is spent."

According to the ISBE, the Venice Unit District spent $28,285 per student (highest in Illinois). Despite spending all of that money, only 32.6 percent of Venice’s students met the 2005 ISAT reading standards. After being on the financial watch list, the Venice District was placed under the state’s financial oversight panel. More money does not make better schools.

The Akin Elementary District spent $4,281 per student (lowest in Illinois). 59 percent of Akin’s students met the 2005 ISAT reading standards. The Akin School District has no debt and a perfect 4.0 financial recognition profile from the Illinois State Board of Education. 99 percent of Akin's students are low-income, the students that many administrators cost so much more to educate.

The State Board of Education figures do not include debt repayment, capital improvements, summer schools and other expenses. When these expenses are added, Venice had total spending of $3,443,683 with 91.89 students (average daily attendance) for a total of $37,476 per student; while Akin spent only $928,688 with 209.11 students (ADA) for a total of $4,441 per student.

The 50 lowest-spending districts all had at least half of their students meet both the math and reading standards in their general student population; while only 43 of the 50 highest-spending districts had half of their students meet both the math and reading standards.

vern,  2:34 PM  

While I'm at it. Look at the 2005 National Education Association's Rankings and Estimates Report. Summary Table K reports that Illinois' total school spending was $32,218,293,000 for the 2004-05 school year with a total average daily attendance of 1,890,644 (Summary Table D). This works out to $17,041 per student! According to these figures, Illinois spends more per student than any other state! Illinois is actually number one, not 49.

monelson 8:59 PM  

Steve –

Extreme makes a good point. We ought to be able to devise a simpler, more effective funding method. The problem here is not his solutions simplicity, but Springfield’s need to make everything complex for complexities sake!

Your response typifies what is wrong not only in this state, but in education – that is “If it’s not obtuse and confusing, the public might figure out what were doing”. Two points here, first the socialist welfare redistribution formula (no I am not republican, I am conservative and borderline libertarian) is way to complex and penalizes local districts that decide they need to raise Ed Fund rates. When D300 raised its Ed Fund rate 55 cents in March (which I opposed), the formula redistributed more than half of it to other districts. How does this make sense? Extreme is right – fund children at a specific dollar level from a single source. Let schools raise what ever else they want to. And get it away from property tax, where it unfairly burdens the fixed income taxpayers. If it’s unrealistic to expect uncomplicated solutions from our current political leaders, let’s get new ones…oh there I go again, being simplistic.

The second overcomplicated, obtuse and confusing area is where the money is spent. If you read the mandated budget forms hard enough, you can determine that most districts spend 50% directly on classrooms and 50% on management. Here’s an oversimplified example –

25 Students in a classroom at what $8000 per child? So …..$200,000 in tax revenue
1 Teacher (with 30% benefits, etc)………$80,000 Expense
Books, supplies, etc………………………$10,000 Expense
Heat, lights, etc…………………………..$10,000 Expense
Total Direct Classroom Expenses…………………………..$100,000

Administration? …………………………………………….Priceless!

I am sure I did not include something’s, so what another 10-20,000? Still does not get away from the fact that our current school structure is too bloated at the top. But with the way we report it regular folks can’t see it.

Extreme makes sense…Simplify, reduce, and truly spend it “for the Kids”!
Throw anyone who can’t make that happen out….

monelson 9:05 PM  

Oh and did Rev. Meeks lie?

Who cares, he's is now a politician, not a reverend, and we expect he will use any fact he finds anyway he can to get what he wants.

What is it he wants anyway? Oh yeah, what all real politicians get elected and re-elected.

If I have offended any politicians out there, you might want to reassess your career choice, because you may not be a politician… you may actually be a servant and representative of the people you were elected by.

Extreme Wisdom 11:53 PM  


In 1979, a 28% top tax rate was "wishful thinking." The rate was 70%. (lowered by JFK from 90%)

In 1984, the idea that the Soviet Union would soon cease to exist would have been laughed at. (by both parties, BTW)

Reform is always impossible...until it happens.

Who/What do YOU stand for, an "educated populace" or a protected monopoly sucking down $500 billion nationally?

The current system is indefensible.

Sacred Cows make the best Hambuger.

Fund Children, not systems.

steve schnorf 1:43 AM  

Wisdom, this is one of those really unique situations then, when the only choices are either an "educated poulace" or "a protected monopoly sucking down $500 billion".

Such a reasoned stating of the question certain makes enlightened dialogue easier, as I try to think through what I stand for. I'm really happy for you, I guess, since I'm not fortunate enough to live in a world where most important decisions can be made by simply choosing between absolute good and absolute evil.

Good for you. If I saw the question that simply, I would be able to make a decion as easily as you do.

monelson 12:52 PM  

Vern -

The numbers on the front page of that reports make more sense:

48,367,410 students
$489,687,594,000 current spending
or $8,618 per student.

Don't know what Summary Table D is, but we have nearly 2.1 million students in Illinois alone.

monelson 12:58 PM  

The NEA reports shows Illinois as follows:

4th in expenditures
5th in enrollment at 2.1 million
5th in # of teachers at 131,779
16th in teacher - pupil ration (1-15.9)
16th in spending per student at $9591

Maybe the Rev needs to get someone who knows how to use the internet to get his "facts" for him.

vern,  11:18 PM  


If you read the 2005 National Education Association's Ranking and Estimates Report -- you will see that Illinois has an AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE of 1.8 million students. Illinois may have 2.1 million students but not all are in school each day due to illness, drop out or a number of other reasons. The Illinois State Board of Education uses the average daily attendance figure when they derive per pupil spending (look at the ISBE's ILEARN website I noted in my first post).

The reason the NEA comes up with the larger numbers that they report is because they include pension contributions which the Illinois State Board of Education does not. The NEA includes debt repayment which the Illinois State Board of Education does not. The NEA includes capital improvement (like building schools, new equipment,...) which the Illinois State Board of Education does not. The NEA includes summer schools and many other expenses which the Illinois State Board of Education does not report.

Which one gives a better indication of the true cost of our schools? School officials use the ISBE numbers and pretend that these other expenses do not exist -- but I still have to pay for them with my taxes. Mr. Meeks may be technically correct that the state's funding ranks 49th, but then how do you explain that Illinois' TOTAL school spending ranks number 1 amongst the 50 states (only Washington D.C. spends more per student)?

vern,  11:24 PM  

Let me rephrase one thing. The ISBE does report these numbers, but they do not include them in their operational expense statistics which say Illinois spent $8,786 per student in FY2004. If you look at your school district's Report Card and take total spending and divide by the attendance which they report -- you will not come up with the spending number that they report.

Vern,  12:07 AM  


The 2005 NEA Rankings and Estimates Report can be found on the NEA's website.

Taking the data from Summary Table K (page 96) divided by the data from Summary Table D (page 89) yields:

Wash. D.C. $20,182 per student
Illinois $17,401 per student
Vermont $15,386
New York $14,386
Conn. $14,018
Mass. $13,215
Del. $12,974
Maine $12,654
Wyoming $12,615
Michigan $12,609
Wisconsin $12,548
Alaska $12,493
all the way down to
Utah $7,264

Schools cost far more than our school officials will report. But please don't take my word for it -- look it up and see for yourself.

One more point and I'm done for the night. Monelson please look at your previous post:

48,367,410 students
$489,687,594,000 current spending
or $8,618 per student.

I hate to burst your bubble, but do the math on your statement and you will see that $8,618 per student is not correct either. According to my calculations that comes out to $10,875 per student which includes interest, capital expenditures, and other programs which are not included in your $8,618 per student.

Vern,  12:32 AM  

Isn't it pathetic when the teacher's union is more honest with the taxpayers than their own government officials elected to protect the people's interest?

Anonymous,  1:09 AM  

Perhaps we can increase spending and have our schools become as wonderful as those in DC.

vern,  2:56 AM  

OK so I went to an Illinois public school. $10,124 per student, not $10,875.

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