(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
An outfit called the Arizona Education Network took issue with a piece I wrote showing that Arizona K-12 spending has increased by 20% since 2000 while math and reading NAEP scores are up by less than 1% during approximate same period.
Unsheathing their flaming sword of justice, they wrote the following:
Update: Debunking Latest Education Spending Report by Special Interest Group – AZ student population up 22.7% while funding only grows 20%
US Census Department Figures show that the Arizona population increased 28.6% from April of 2000 to July 2009.
During the same period, average daily membership (the term used to refer to the total enrollment of students through the first 100 days of the school year) in Arizona schools increased 22.7%. (According to a report to the Arizona Senate) .
So when special interest groups decry a 20% increase in education funding in the 2000-2009 period, they should notice that this increase did not even keep up with the increase in the number of school children in Arizona during the same period.
Let me help you out here guys, since you seem new to this whole policy analysis thing. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to read something before you criticize it. Sometimes, that will include clicking on hyperlinks when they are provided.
For example, if you had taken the trouble to do so in this case, you would have gone to an Arizona legislative website and learned that I had used an inflation adjusted spending per pupil number to calculate the 20% increase.
Keep at it though- some day you guys may be ready to swim to the deep end of the pool.