At least we're not last - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

At least we're not last

Census data shows Idaho student spending ranks No. 49

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:48 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

When it comes to spending per student, Idaho is about as tight as they come, according to Census data released Wednesday.

An estimated $7,092 was spent per student from all revenue sources during the 2008-2009 school year. The amount is the second-lowest in the nation behind Utah at $6,356, according to the report.

To the taxpayer, that can be worth celebrating, especially during tough times. But is the frugal spending getting to the point where a quality education is starting to go down the drain?

"If things don't change very soon, we will be at that point," said Tom Taggart, the Lakeland School District's financial director, adding that he's not surprised at the ranking. "The sad part is that there is no reason to think we will not remain (near the bottom) for some time to come."

Taggart said he understands that student spending is not a good way to measure commitment to education, but there is a point where funding is so low that districts can't even do the basic job, let alone continue to do it well.

"You can't claim to be committed to student achievement when you don't provide the basic funding needed to operate," he said. "Without additional financial support for Idaho's schools, there will not be continued increases in student achievement. You can't 'reform' your way out of this."

Post Falls resident Bill Matthews said there has to be a balance. He wonders if Idaho's conservative spending has reached the breaking point.

"I understand the economy has been in the tank, and I understand and appreciate that the state needs to control spending," he said. "But I also believe education of our youth is very delicate, and we don't want to mess too much with falling further behind the world.

"Spending needs to be looked at in all areas. If government insists on student achievement, it needs to provide adequate funding to stay the course."

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has said spending is not the best tool for measuring a state's commitment to educational success, and the real goal is achievement.

Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, agrees.

"Spending more dollars on education does not mean students will receive a better education," Goedde said.

Goedde said he's also not surprised that Idaho is near the bottom on student spending, considering the state also ranks among the lowest in per-capita income.

"We spend what we can afford to spend and the Legislature has always given K-12 education a priority when setting budgets, even in lean years," he said.

Melissa McGrath, Idaho State Department of Education spokeswoman, said the most important factor in a student's academic success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.

"That is why Superintendent Luna pushed for the Students Come First education reform laws to ensure every student has a highly qualified teacher every year they are in school and access to the best educational opportunities no matter where they live," McGrath said.

McGrath said the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows that Idaho students are performing well when compared to other students across the nation, including those in states that spend significantly more per student.

In eighth-grade reading, for example, 14 states had an average score higher than Idaho students. In eighth-grade math, eight states had an average score higher than Idaho students.

Post Falls Superintendent Jerry Keane said he believes that local districts continue to find ways to stay the course despite funding reductions.

"We have always been able to provide excellent educational opportunities with fewer resources," said Keane, adding that districts' per pupil expenditure has dropped even further with cuts over the past two fiscal years.

Coeur d'Alene Superintendent Hazel Bauman said the district is fortunate to have local taxpayers fill the gap to allow the district to continue to provide a quality education.

"It is not the case in other areas of Idaho," she said. "But we are not immune. The cuts to education we see in Idaho are affecting the programs we deliver to students and our class sizes have increased. Both have an impact on the learning environment."

Public schools in New York spent the most per student at $18,126 in 2009, according to the Census report. The national average was $10,499 per student, up from $10,259 the previous year.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

28 comments:

  • nocostauto posted at 1:12 am on Tue, May 31, 2011.

    nocostauto Posts: 6

    you are not last? so who is the last? :) . our income is a big problem and we need more diverse industry to make this more of an employees market and less of an employer's market. it is downright pathetic here. thanks for nice post..Learn forex trading
    Tim viec - Itchy skin bumps

     
  • RadRevD posted at 7:38 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    try formalized in 1952 but taught through the 30s & 40s.
    We're talkin good Cop - Crappy Cop!
    Both parties have been infiltrated.
    Blaming it on the Dems or Repubs or even the Tea Totelers tells me your string was pulled!
    SD271 is satisfied to call 50% passing the ISAT.
    Are your kids or grandkids attending Project???

     
  • northidahonative posted at 6:55 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    northidahonative Posts: 1163

    """the Dumbing Down of America???"""

    That's already happened, it started 35 years or so ago with "The Way" and the discovery by the Republicans about how gullible and useful religious radicals can be in promoting the Big Money Interests here in the U.S.

    Look at the Tea Party, formerly known as the Religious Right, and their chosen idols, Palin and Bachmann, and the rest, people who choose dumb people as their 'leaders", can't be too bright themselves.

    Read'n, Rite'n, and Relijun.....that's all Republicans and their "base" believe anyone needs.

     
  • RadRevD posted at 6:19 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    to northidahonative...
    Then why haven't you taken the Bertrand Russell Challenge and read his treatise calling for the Dumbing Down of America???
    You can find it through inter-library loan from U of I - Moscow.
    Or you can purchase it online!
    Impact of Science on Society.

    Also...why is it not one of your CDA Press online readers found a pair to realize what the real threat is?

     
  • northidahonative posted at 3:24 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    northidahonative Posts: 1163

    Those numbers were for 2008-2009, Idaho Legislators have passed an education budget that will help us into last place, which seems to have been their goal, Luna's great plan will also drop the level of education our students receive, maybe to not the lowest in the Nation, that might take another "Plan" or two.

    A State or Nation that cannot afford to educate their children or aide their poor and elderly cannot be considered "Great" in any way.

     
  • aayupp posted at 1:36 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    aayupp Posts: 311

    '"To the taxpayer, that can be worth celebrating, especially during tough times."

    stop trying to make us feel guilty wii ya- jullee wonders where all the money is going ---after all you tax everything there is to tax now --so thats not the answer. our income is a big problem and we need more diverse industry to make this more of an employees market and less of an employer's market. it is downright pathetic here. jobs plus -- complete failure!

     
  • aayupp posted at 1:21 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    aayupp Posts: 311

    now-what do idaho and utah have in common besides dirt spending for the schools. tater farmers.

     
  • Jullee posted at 12:56 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    Jullee Posts: 539

    How sad .... It is simple...Smaller class rooms...Uniforms..accountability !

     
  • DogeatDog posted at 12:52 pm on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    DogeatDog Posts: 59

    Yeah, so where is Jeff "Ignoranus" Wherley? Why isn't he here trolling like usual, weighing in with his half-wit opinions about unions and Tom "Luna-tic's" education reforms? Oh wait a minute, he's probably slaving away at his non-union $4.50 an hour job licking Republican's boots. Doh! My bad.......

     
  • RadRevD posted at 6:43 am on Fri, May 27, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    Shocking to say the least!

    Considering SD271 Teachers Union suggest we are getting more bang for the buck.
    Why?? Our students excel in taking the ISAT!

     
  • elkman189 posted at 11:47 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    elkman189 Posts: 186

    Not last.? That was pretty stupid.

     
  • Peter posted at 10:45 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    Peter Posts: 599

    If the people of Idaho continue to vote as they always had, they will continue to get what they already have. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Well, they can always blame Obama I suppose.

     
  • Shocked posted at 9:39 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    Shocked Posts: 98

    Where are you Jeffrey and RadRev? I thought you should weigh in on this topic since you are so sure Idaho public school teachers aren't doing an adequate job. At least there are enough signatures to put Luna's "reform" bills up for a vote. Idaho is too great of a state to be ruined by such a pathetic bunch of legislators.

     
  • cdanative33 posted at 4:59 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    cdanative33 Posts: 359

    This is what happens when ideology is in charge. I hope people are paying attention. They can't do anymore damage if we don't vote them in.

     
  • The Truth posted at 4:47 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    Hey, a low-grade education is all you need to be a miner or a logger.

    What, we're not doing those anymore? Dang, guess we're doomed.

     
  • aayupp posted at 3:36 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    aayupp Posts: 311

    "Goedde said he's also not surprised that Idaho is near the bottom on student spending, considering the state also ranks among the lowest in per-capita income."

    And now, We have met the enemy, and it is us. Good job. i'am conservative but we need a more diverse political climate in this state and less dirt farmers like otter running the state. an important agenda item is shooting wolves. come on man!

     
  • wilbur posted at 12:39 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    wilbur Posts: 142

    Simply amazing... the reddest state in the union, should be a model for all of the other states, right?
    lowest per capita income...high unemployment...low wage jobs...cold water creek "high school is not enough" for what? 10 bucks an hour, what size and quantity madame? can't find engineers? oh really?why would that be? crappy wages and benefits? I know many educated folks that came from Idaho schools, engineers, business, medical, professors, you name it, they are out there. How many chose Idaho to live and work in? I can't think of any...Where are the JOBS ??

     
  • greyhound2 posted at 12:33 pm on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    greyhound2 Posts: 754

    "Spending more dollars does not mean a better education" is the best statement in this article. While Idaho appears low on the amount spent compared to other states, it also ranks in the bottom 10 in basic skills, while the United States has sunk to 30th in math and 42nd in reading compared to other countries. It is not the parents responsibility to get a child an education, it is their responsibility only to provide the student with an opportunity to get themselves an education. The opportunities are there and are available, but you need to take advantage of them.

     
  • posted at 11:19 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    Posts:

    We can fix this by allowing Mayor Bloem to spend MILLIONS on a parking lot and allowing an out of state company to charge the locals to use it. Those little kids the parking lot is for better get their drivers learning permits...so they can enjoy their new parking lot

     
  • Jullee posted at 11:10 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    Jullee Posts: 539

    So what happened to all the money from gambling / lotto that was supposed to go toward education ?

     
  • The Truth posted at 9:39 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    Yep, the tea party/conservatives here have certainly gotten exactly what they've always dreamed of - enjoy, folks!

    And would the last person leaving the state please remember to turn off the lights?

     
  • Old Hayden posted at 8:51 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    Old Hayden Posts: 32

    "At least we're not last" is like saying we finished second in a two person race.

     
  • PlayinForChalupas posted at 8:19 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    PlayinForChalupas Posts: 30

    “Goedde said he's also not surprised that Idaho is near the bottom on student spending, considering the state also ranks among the lowest in per-capita income.”

    Nearly 16 years of Republican Governors and 26 years of Right to Work…. and our state “ranks among the lowest in per-capita income.” Right to Work is an oxymoron like “friendly fire.” They are slowly killing the middle class in Idaho. But at least “WE’RE NOT LAST.” Is the Press trying to be funny?

     
  • mister d posted at 7:34 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Luna, goedde, ansd noninni are fools and their political practices will negatively affect the kids of Idaho for years. I love how the State Dept of Education says Idaho schools perform very well on national tests but yet luna called for total reform. It was union busting pure and simple. I hope we bust luna, goedde, and noaninni and they have no political future in this state. New teachers are not coming to this state and others are leaving, just ask teachers. This state offers nothing to the professional educator. Although teachers have always been dedicated to kids, at some point that no longer gets you through the day. The kids will suffer and there will be no one wiling to work here unless its a stepping stone to a good job.

     
  • Taxing posted at 7:00 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    Taxing Posts: 44

    The spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Education says: "the most important factor in a student's academic success is the quality of the teacher in the classroom." Idaho ranks 49th in per student spending. Why would a young teacher want to come to Idaho and make less money and get worse benefits? The answer...they wouldn't. Way to go Mr. Luna.

     
  • idabilly posted at 6:38 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    idabilly Posts: 390

    @TakeBack.... the reason business leaves/doesn't come to Idaho is because of the hostile State and local fees, audits, inquires, charges and intrusions.

     
  • isntitironic posted at 5:51 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    isntitironic Posts: 55

    Living in Idaho is like being chest-deep in quicksand. One party rule and this is what you get.

     
  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 5:00 am on Thu, May 26, 2011.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    As long as you have selfish, corrupt, greedy pols such as Otter, Luna, Goedde, and Noni anything above zero will be too much. And, could it be that Idaho's bottom of the barrel per-capita income is because no decent business will locate in Idaho because they know the Politburo's commitment to education is non existent? For all you retirees who think fewer kids and lower taxes are the way to go, say adios to your doctor. What professional would want to raise a family in Idaho.

     
default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard

Stocks