Baltimore Public Schools Are Not Close to Underfunded!

The pretense that rioting and looting is the responsibility of those who haven’t allowed enough funds to go to Baltimore Public Schools is ludicrous.

Since Bob Allen quoted a news story about Democrat Representative Donna Edwards claiming that Baltimore public schools need more money, I think it might be good to point out how insane such claims really are. Here’s the quotation:

“I mean I would say, for example with our schools, just prior to the Freddie Gray incident, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was actually prevailing upon our Republican governor to release money for school funding.” When host Chris Wallace pointed out that “Baltimore spends the third highest amount per capita on its public schools,” Edwards rebutted, “There’s uneven spending in the public schools.”

Edwards’ assertion doesn’t rebut anything. If the spending is “uneven” then that needs to be fixed. The call for new money means that the problem Edwards claims to exist is never going to be solved. Essentially her words—if one bothers to assign meaning to them—tell us that Baltimore public schools have enough money but need to spend it differently.

That actually sounds remarkably close to the truth—thus, providing prima facie evidence that Edwards was just throwing out words without really considering what they meant.

But Baltimore public schools as the great victim of evil Republican stinginess with other people’s money is an ongoing meme among statists. (I’m tired of calling them “progressives.” The Tea Party is the progressive force in the United States. The “progressives” are cult believers in the state and should be called a name that is more accurate to their core commitment to robbery and violence as social goods. This also explains their spontaneous sympathy for riots.) Baltimore radio host Dan Diamond and professional media statist Jon Stewart both pushed out this message.

According to the Washington Examiner, Stewart roused the crowds by saying:

If we are spending a trillion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan’s schools, we can’t, you know, put a little taste Baltimore’s way. It’s crazy.

Riiight. Because all that money was for the Afghan children and it all made their schools wonderful because there is never any corruption in how we spend money overseas.

Or has Stewart just pointed out why everyone from Afghanistan to Baltimore, except for special interests hooked into the corruption, are better off if the tax-victims get to keep their money?

In any case, the Examiner points out it is all nonsense:

Our federal and state governments give lots and lots of money to Baltimore schools, as Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution shows us. Baltimore schools spend 27 percent more per student than Fairfax Co., Va., spends, according to Tabarrok — that’s more than $17,000 per student.

The problem with these schools isn’t that they are “underfunded.” It’s that they are broken in a million way — ways that you couldn’t solve even by doubling the per-student spending.

At Rare.us, Bonnie Kristian comments:

That $17,000 per student is actually quite high. As this 2014 article from the Washington Post shows, the national average per-student expenditure is about $10,600 per year. Some states, like Utah, spend less than $7,000 per student, while New York tops the list at $19,552. Obviously Baltimore has a higher cost of living than Utah, and of course there are other, similar factors which might contribute to Baltimore needing to spend more per kid than more rural areas. But no matter how we slice it, $17,000 per year is not “underfunded.”

It would be interesting to come up with a cost-of-living equation (if that is possible) to compare per capita spending in government schools. Then it would be even better to do research about crime in each school area and see what correlates.

My prediction: crime will go up with the amount of money spend on the schools.

My second prediction: therefore no one will try to do such a study.