"When the rich are in charge"

mattgould's picture

I found this article very illuminating: http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/559

Croix and Doepke point out that 28% of all education funding comes from private resources, as compared to Norway's 1.5%. What this means is that Americans are spending over 1/4 as much on private schools than the total education budget for public schools. A bit worrysome. Croix and Doepke's conclusiong is especially poignant:

"Ultimately, school funding decisions are made by politicians. An education system with a large share of private schooling can work well in a democracy where politicians are responsive to the needs of families using public schools, but can lead to disastrous results in a plutocracy. Thus, education policies should be analysed jointly with the political system that determines education funding, and policy advice on education systems needs to be conditional on the political setup and the level of democracy of a country."

Zaquex's picture

What should we do?

I think the main problem lies with the fact of data cannot be compared. Norway's educational system relies upon the fact that less than less 900,000 people are ages 0-14 and Norway's education is compulsory from ages 6-16. And since much of that population lives in the same urban area, resources, such as libraries and schools, do not have to be spread out far; bigger schools and libraries means fewer need to be made.

The question becomes: what should we do to prevent plutocracy and make sure a dollar spent (by taxpayers) is a dollar earned (by schools and their students)?

Steve's picture

prevent plutocracy

 As long as people are forced to send their children to failing schools the problems will persist. The "well off" will always be able to choose the best school for their children. Everyone should have the freedom to turn their back on a rotten school. This is a choice our system has stolen from our next generation. As the situation gets worse the educational system becomes more hostile and resistant to such innovations as charter schools and work rule changes that allow the dismissal of poorly performing professionals. While at the same time denying only those of limited means their right to move to quality. Change will frighten those involved in the system and those suffering from Stockholm syndrome but, worry not, it will be for the best. You know what I am talking about: the dreaded "V" word.   

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