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Vouchers are clearly the solution to our public school crisis

Terence P. Jeffrey on

The public elementary and secondary schools in the District of Columbia spent $30,115 per pupil during the 2016-2017 school year, according to Table 236.75 in the Department of Education's "Digest of Education Statistics."

But only 23% of the eighth graders in the district's public schools were proficient or better in reading in 2019, according to the department's National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, tests.

Similarly, only 23% of eighth graders in the district's public schools were proficient or better in mathematics.

Clearly, the government-run schools in our nation's capital did not give taxpayers their money's worth.

Yet, the District of Columbia was not the only jurisdiction where public schools cost taxpayers significant money and gave little in return.

The eight states that followed the District of Columbia with the nation's worst eighth-grade reading scores in 2019 were Alaska, New Mexico, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

 

The public schools in Alaska spent $19,396 per pupil in 2016-2017. But only 23% of the eighth graders in Alaska's public schools were proficient or better in reading in 2019, and only 29% were proficient or better in math.

The public schools in New Mexico spent $11,596 per pupil in 2016-2017. But only 23% of the eighth graders in New Mexico's public schools were proficient or better in reading, and only 21% were proficient or better in math.

The public schools in Alabama spent $10,615 per pupil in 2016-2017. But only 24% of the eighth graders in Alabama's public schools were proficient or better in reading, and only 21% were proficient or better in math.

The public schools in Texas spent $11,985 per pupil in 2016-2017. But only 25% of the eighth graders in Texas public schools were proficient or better in reading, and only 30% were proficient or better in math.

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