Schools should give more bang for the buck

By JAKE
MOKRIS
I have finally been convinced: I now know that public schooling is better than home-schooling. According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey on public school spending in 2003-2004, the state of Pennsylvania spent more than $9,900 on each public school student in Pennsylvania. With all that money going into their education, public school students must be way smarter than I am.


How can schools spend that much per student and not give students a phenomenal education? How can schools even spend that much? My parents spend less than $1,000 a year on textbooks for me and my two brothers. I guess we’re missing out on real education.
Something has to be wrong. Either the money schools receive isn’t going fully towards students’ education, or the method being used to educate the students is not working very well. The problem is probably a combination of both. How can it be solved?
I know: more money.
The Census Bureau survey gives the statistics on spending in 2004. Two years have passed since then, and almost every newspaper article I’ve read on local schools’ spending has said that school boards are raising taxes.
If $9,900 per student does not guarantee a great education, more money will not help. The state of Pennsylvania could learn from home-school families’ economy. At least in my family, we spend much less than what Pennsylvania spends per student. And my brothers and I are getting a good education.
Believe me, I am learning a lot. This is my senior year, and I’ll be taking Shakespeare, French, philosophy, quantum mechanics (very cool), differential equations, physics with calculus, chemistry, human physiology, calculus III, British literature, and I’ll stop before I scare anyone else.
Everything about a public school should be directed toward giving students the best education possible. That is the goal, a good education. Before it is used for anything else, the money ought to go toward educating the students better. The money comes from taxes, so it ought to be spent wisely and for the right reasons. If schools can put their whole effort into improving education, education might cost less.
Another way schools can do better is to get teachers and students to work harder. Teachers could spend more time making sure each student understands the material, and students ought to spend more time studying the material. Maybe teachers should get a little more of that $9,900 per student.
Here’s an idea: Pennsylvania could give home-school families some of the money. Home-school families pay taxes for schools their children don’t even attend, and they educate their students better and spend less money. If we didn’t home-school, Pennsylvania would have to spend more money, and we might not get as good of an education as we could at home. Home-schoolers relieve some of the burden on Pennsylvania. If Pennsylvania encouraged home-schooling, the state might save money. So pay up, Pennsylvania.
That will never happen, and I’m not sure that it should. But with all the money going toward public schools, the schools ought to do a better job than they do now.
Jake Mokris is home-schooled student and member of the Teen Takeover staff.

About Scott Fisher

I'm opinion page editor and blogging coordinator for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and Yorkblog.com. Phone: 717-771-2049. Email: sfisher@ydr.com. Twitter: YDReditpage.
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