Ok, so Loudoun County has advertised that it spends $12,780 per student in 2009 (this is approx. $7k less than the amount spent in Arlington or Alexandria).

Private schools are providing an education at approx $8k per student, as is the case at Dominion Academy in Leesburg.

Shouldn’t we demand more from our local government?  They are spending 50% more per student than their private counterpart.  Perhaps government should get out of the education business?

What’s even more depressing is the reported $13k spent per student for the Loudoun Head Start program that is only half a day.  Compare that with approx. $7k at Dominion.

While not sure how accurate it is, Wikipedia reports that Loudoun County serves 50,000 students from K -12th grade.  If Loudoun County issued vouchers to attend any school and we assume that the chosen schools had same/similar tuition as Dominion, that would be a savings of approx $4500 per student. If only 20% (10,000 students) chose to participate in the voucher program, that would save the county…hmmm…10,000 x $4,500 = $45,000,000.  Not too shabby.

Help Me Figure This Out…
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9 thoughts on “Help Me Figure This Out…

  • Em,

    I hear what you are saying and I’m on board generally, but one thing that is interesting is that private school kids still ride the bus and use many of the same textbooks as public schools…my point is there are some offsets private schools receive from taxpayers (bus rides) that would add in addition to the tuition you pay. That said the taxpayers foot the bill for both schools regardless.
    It seems that people get what they pay for when it comes to education, doesn’t it? Why not make everyone pay tuition for school? Bringing this issue up is likely to make any liberal’s head explode.

  • I like the way you think, kid. I’m not too certain that private school kids still ride the public school busses in Loudoun County or how universal that is accross the country. Is that the case in TX and/or LA? Is there anyone out there in LOCO who can verify?

  • In Louisiana it is definitely the case. Louisiana has a lot of Catholic schools and I think that may be the answer. As for TX I don’t know.

  • . Analyzing data from a series of long-term studies, a band of scientists, educators, and economists say that aggressive preschool training for children from troubled homes yields extraordinary dividends for the families and society. Waiting until elementary school or later doesn’t pay off. With an early start, “all the evidence says that we can reduce inequality, and it’s economically efficient,” says James J. Heckman, Nobel laureate and economist at the University of Chicago.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_43/b4006099.htm

    Butch, this is not an argument against the cost of public grade school education, but it is a statement about you relentless attach of the headstart program.

    I am a product of headstart and so are many members of my family. For example, my Sister (Dr. J. M. Johnson), brother (electrical engineer for G.E.), and other sister who is an oil and gas anyalyst for a major firm. My grandmother was a headstart teacher.

    If society can not offer programs that lift people up and give them the means to be great contributors to this great country…. then, what should our purpose be. We need these programs now more than ever. we have a huge illiterate immigrant population and kids go to school unprepared. The U.S. has a High School drop out rate at 50% (so I have been told).

    Before you continue attacking the headstart program based on your probable intollerance of the poeple it helps, I wish you would visit a program and volunteer there. Meet the kids and the families and understand thier backgrounds and experiences. Talk to graduates of the pre-kindergarden progam to learn their experiences and undestand the IMPACT. Have you poliical wing do a study to determine if these kids are more likely to graduate, stay out of jail, etc.

    We are the wealthiest country on earth. I just returned from India which does not have nearly the resources we do, but I believe they are surpassing us ont he educational front. They understand that education is going to put them at a more even playing field with the United States and China.

    I agree that private schools may be run more effectively than public schools. The fact is: my parents would not have been able to send me to school if there were no public school. They would not have been able to drive me to school because they both worked hard to keep us fed, clothed, and sheltered. They could not send me to an expensive daycare, so they sent me to Headstart. It was at headstart where I learned reading, math, and social skills.

    Just a point… My sister Dr. Johnson spends $2500 a month on daycare for her two kids so that they can have a headstart. She no longer needs the Headstart program, because she can afford something else. Another point, My friend Dr. M. Philips spent $100,000 annually on his son’s private high school.

    My parents sent me to public school in Louisiana and to Headstart prior to that. Well, I train surgeons all over the world to do minimally invasive heart surgery and work with some of our best engineers to get it done. Please research this program and visit a program before you continue bashing it. I even noticed it was on your ACP platform. WHY?

  • As far as providing education for kids early, well…you’re talking to three people who made their living for 4, 5, and 10 years by selling education books very often starting with the line: “did you know that 50% of a child’s adult learning capacity is reached by the time they’re 4 years old?” so you’re preaching to the choir, there.

    My kid has been learning many of the things you’ve mentioned in a home-based daycare for three years, and will continue to learn them in a Montessori school without a dime of Government help…

    The only thing I would say is that just because it’s important for society to do it, doesn’t mean that the Government is responsible for it. That’s a GENERAL statement having nothing to do with Education.

    As far as the platform goes, if you read it, you’ll see it says:

    “…eliminate FEDERAL SUPPORT for Head Start…”

    It doesn’t say eliminate it all together. As you probably know by now, I am convinced that even the problems that should be “fixed” by Government are very often (with a few very clear exceptions) better handled by local Governments.

    Federal support means Federal control, in my eyes. That’s also a very General statement.

    More specifically, so you’re not a supporter of “vouchers” Harrison? Why or why not?

  • I am glad you can affor Montessori school and expensive educational books. If the federal government isn’t going to pay for it, then WHO will?????????? I feel that when we make such blanket statements about programs based on our own personal situation in life that it becomes somewhat personal and detached.

    I gave you several examples of individuals who don’t need government help and can afford to educate their children in the environment of their choice. Many Americans cannot afford to do so.

    Again, go to a Headstart program and learn something about it. If any one of your ACP members have done so, I applaud them. Where I grew up, we didn’t have home groups. Our parents were working in factories and for the city, etc. Some kids get their only meal at school. This program benifits us all. I don’t care which government entity sponsors it. I would venture to say that the people their don’t care either. They are only concerned about getting their kids a good start on education so that they can compete with kids like yours.

    I wonder if you think that the federal goverment should fund Prisons. I haven’t looked it up, but prisons cost a lot more than Headstart. Headstart is a Federal Progam, not a LOCAL program. I don’t believe that it would be run better locally. Why would you change something that works well and gamble on the livelyhood of so many children.

    Again, congrats on your efforts to educatate your child in the fashion that you see fit. I bet my mother would have loved to send me to Montesorri, but it would not have been possible. She did her best and I am the better for it.

  • I have no real opionion on Vouchers. It really depends on the family’s situation. I am going to put something out that is embarrassing to me. Much of my school life, I was on FREE LUNCH. Even if my parents had vouchers, I would have to know that it would cover so much more than just tuition.

    As a tax paying citizen with means, I think it would be a good option for my kids because I have money. In fact, I could send my kids anywhere I wanted, but that was not my reality growing up.

    I don’t know the best answer. My comments are really pointed to Headstart as I personally know the impact of this program. I think if these parents could afford Expensive Pre-K programs that would be an alternative. I think the program is bigger as it is important that we provide resources to lift people out of poverty and educate them to reduce crime and help us compete in the global community. That is what headstart does and it is a small price to pay.

    However, I do agree that our education system could stand some refrom. It does not work.

  • One comment that bothers me most is “The only thing I would say is that just because it’s important for society to do it, doesn’t mean that the Government is responsible for it. ”

    Given the 9th amendment to the constitution, I would argue against this sentiment. Just because something is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution does not mean that people should be denied their general welfare. The government works for the people (society). Not the other way around. The constitution was written to be a living document and the 9th and 10th amendments support and protect that fact. The ACP is consititutionally off-based on many of their sentiments and hopes to “preserve’ their “heritage.” The ACP has not defined who’s heritage and what heritage they are speaking of.

    I too wish to preserve my heritage of making the next generation more perfect and making a country a more perfect union. Headstart is a part of it in my heritage. I think that everyone should know about this platform of disrupting the good works of headstart and that the ACP should provide studies and evidence to the contrary for making such irresponsible statements. Especially since a single federal organization that is meant to provide for the common good of it’s citizens is attached.

    I did not see any statements on discuontinuing federal support of the departments of transportation, energy or health. With the logic that you stated we should not even have a Centers of Disease Control because it should not be the governments responsibility just because it is important to society.

    As you can see this topic is very important to me. I doubt that any of your readers had thought about the ramifications of such statements because it does not affect their lives. I think is it important that from this point I point out to people the platform of the ACP so that they can understand why their next city council man fought against the headstart program in a very poor community and prevented children from having the opportunity to achieve.

    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

  • Research shows that dollars spent does not equate to better quality education and in many cases quite the opposite. Loudoun must stop worshiping at the alter of it’s bloated school system and get costs under control. There is a tremendous amount of waste and no one is willing to make a serious challenge because it’s “for the children”. Wake up voters and tax payers.

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