Have you ever heard someone complain about the excessive costs of private schools? Sure, there are some pretty pricey ones out there, but according to Private School Review, the average private school tuition in Minnesota is just $7,466 per year. That number is roughly $2,000 lower than the national, inflation-adjusted average cost of $9,709 per student.
That’s not bad … especially when one considers the cost for public schools. According to a new report from Just Facts, that price tag is $17,013 per student.
Don’t be embarrassed if you were surprised by the massive cost difference between private and public schools–nor the fact that private schools are the less expensive ones. As the folks from Just Facts explain, it’s been decades since an official, solid report was released detailing the true tuition costs of private schools. Even then, private schools were still coming out ahead with a lower cost per student than public schools.
It almost as though the U.S. Department of Education doesn’t really want you to know what a cost savings education would experience were it conducted by private schools. But surely they wouldn’t want to keep that from the general public!
But then, they likely wouldn’t want the public to see the dramatic public school spending per student increase in the last 100 years, either, as the chart below shows.
If only these astronomically higher costs would result in better education. Yet as Just Facts explains:
- only 37% of U.S. residents aged 16 and older can correctly answer a question that requires basic logic, addition, and division.
- only 22% of the college-bound high school students who take the ACT exam meet its college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math, and science).
- two-thirds to three-quarters of all young adults in the U.S. are unqualified for military service because of poor physical fitness, weak educational skills, illegal drug use, medical conditions, or criminal records.
- the drug overdose death rate has quintupled since 2000, and if it remains at the current level, one in every 40 people in the U.S. will ultimately die of a drug overdose.
- 15-year-old U.S. students rank 31st among 37 developed nations in math, even though the U.S. spends an average of 38% more per K-12 student than other developed nations.
Today, the average public school classroom receives an average of $343,663 annually. Consider that number and then look at the statistics listed above. Why are we spending so much for such poor results, especially when private schools appear likely to do a better job for a far lower cost?
Perhaps it’s time to we start implementing more school choice, such as Education Savings Accounts, allowing the money to follow a child to the school–private or public–which best suits his needs. Parents, teachers, students, AND the government pocketbook would all likely be better off.
Image Credit: PickPik