I suggested in a post yesterday in response to a National Education Association message calling for people to fight the push for vouchers that instead of fighting against them, the argument be that all schools, so they can be properly competitive be afforded the same amount of per pupil expenditure as the recognized to be best private schools in the nation. My point is this, that all students deserve to have the opportunity to receive the best education they can possibly get and, with vouchers, the amount usually offered precludes most from going to the kind of private schools that parents who can afford tuition like to send their children. Since, even if all could afford the “best” schools only a small minority would be able to because there would not be room. The answer, then, is to bring all schools up to a level of excellence and it does seem that excellence comes at a cost. Money, of course, is not the only factor that accounts for school excellence, but it is one important one if only classroom size is taken into account, the factor that determines how much interpersonal interaction will take place between educator and student, a proven necessity for instruction that promotes growth of independent critical thinking, something I understand to be one of, perhaps the most, important goals of truly good school programs. Let the people have their vouchers but make certain that before such a step is taken that all students have the choice of going to an excellent school. Until then, good numbers, most, despite their having vouchers, are not guaranteed that a good choice exists for them.
Ten Highly Rated Private Schools
Phillips Academy: $40,000 per year
Phillips Exeter: $37,125 per year
Harvard-Westlake School: $35,900 per year
St. Paul’s school: $55,000 per year
Horace Mann: $46,000 per year
The College Preparatory School: $40,310 per year
The Harker School: $45,877 per year
Lakeside School: $32,000 per year
Stanford Online School: $19,500 per year
Trinity School: $47,965 per year
Average = $32,696 (and note that an online school is included at bargain price!)
The average per pupil expenditure in public schools in the United States according to U.S. Census Bureau: $10,700 (skewed by states such as New York where average per pupil expenditure is $19,818. Note that these are 2015 figures—The range is the $19,818 spent in New York to $6,555 in Utah.