Don't know much about education spending
April 28, 2008
The upcoming issue of Education Next (which Fordham sponsors) reveals that "Almost 96 percent of the public underestimate either per-pupil spending in their districts or teacher salaries in their states." In fact, they vastly underestimate these figures:
The average respondent surveyed in 2007 thought per-pupil spending in their district was just $4,231 dollars, even though the actual average spending per pupil among districts was $10,377 in 2005 (the most recent year for which data are available).
On average, the public underestimated average teacher salaries in their own state by $14,370. The average estimate among survey respondents was $33,054, while average teacher salary nationally in 2005 was actually $47,602.
Obviously troubling, considering how frequently exaggerated claims about funding are invoked in ed policy debates.