Sunday, May 09, 2004

TheChicago Tribune | Still separate, unequal has the first part of a series about education. It was interesting because it references two different school districts that I attended. The grammar school district 149 for K-8 and SD 250 (Thornridge, Thornwood, Thornton) for four years of High School.

"For example, Northbrook School District 27, which is 85.5 percent white, is able to spend $13,446 per student, according to the most recent state finance data available. Sunset Ridge District 29 in Northfield, which is 93 percent white, spends $12,589.

In contrast, the impoverished and nearly all-black Dolton School District 149 spends $6,977 per student, and Chicago Public Schools spends $8,482."

Here is the Report Card(pfd) for the HS District I attended. The average teacher salary is significantly higher than the state average. The grade school I attendee also has salaries over the state average for teachers. The Northbrook district average teacher salary is $60,511 for the grade school I attended in SD 149 the average is $57,000, not a huge difference.

The Trib article makes a lot of good points, one thing I wanted to point out is that teachers in some of these 'poor' districts are not making much less money that teachers in more 'affluent' districts in some cases.

I have felt for a while that money alone is not the answer for school issues anymore. We have spent more and more money on schools over time and it does not seem to be helping. I am starting to think that vouchers and choice are the only real option left. We have tried to modify how we finance schools in this state (Remember Jim Edgar a Republican BTW) and how far his plan got. If funding is not the answer than not making kids attend local schools may be the only answer available.

The Trib has some stuff on how the two canidates feel about this issue. I think this really helps define Jack Ryan as a different Republican in some ways.

Jack Ryan has commented on this before, it really is a social justice issue.

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