Wirepoints Special Report
By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner
Listen to education officials’ demands for more money and it’s easy to believe Illinois grossly underspends on K-12 education. A $7.2 billion funding lawsuit to double state contributions to classroom spending, a $40,000 minimum wage demand for teachers, and lawmakers’ rejection of limits to school district borrowing might bolster that impression. But the truth is Illinois already spends a lot on education – more than any other state in the Midwest. It’s just that much of the money is going to all the wrong places. At $14,180 per student, Illinois spends far more than its neighbors on education – 44 percent more on a per-student basis than Kentucky and Indiana, 22 percent more than Michigan and 21 percent more than the national average.
The problem arises when all those dollars are doled out. Billions of dollars are being siphoned away from the poorest districts by the state’s burgeoning education bureaucracy…
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