Beacon’s New Study Shows Problems with Education Spending

October 18, 2018 9:50AM

Today, the Beacon Center of Tennessee released a new study shining a light on education spending across the state. The study, the first in a two-part series focused on education spending in Tennessee, looks at how our state and local officials spend taxpayers’ money. Here are some of the top line findings:

  • When taking inflation into account, teacher salaries have decreased by 1% while administrator salaries have risen by 7.5%.
  • The average state spends 60% of its education budget in the classroom, while in Tennessee, barely 52% of education spending makes its way into the classroom.
  • Despite an increase in overall spending in the last six years, there has been a 9% decrease in spending in the classroom on items such as textbooks and technology.

This brief shows that, despite calls from some for more education spending, our current priorities are completely out of line. We are dedicating more and more money to administration and administrative salaries, which have little to no impact on the education of children. At the same time, we are paying our teachers less and spending less on classroom supplies and textbooks.

This is the problem with thinking more money is the solution to better educational outcomes. While we have dedicated more to education spending in recent years, the money is not going to the right places. We should be making sure our children have the best education possible, which is not done by siphoning more and more money away from the classroom to pad the pockets of administrators.

You can read the full study here. The second part of this series will offer solutions to better spend our existing education dollars. It will be released in the next few weeks.