Public Spending on Education Over Last 30 Years Due to Percentage Increase in Low-Income Children

A January 2007 article in The Atlantic on school reform included a series of charts plotting school reform efforts alongside student performance scores between 1970 and 2003. The charts indicated that student performance has failed to rise over that thirty-three year span in spite of:

  • A doubling of per pupil spending (from $5,000 to $10,000 per pupil).
  • A decrease in the ratio of students to teachers An increase in teacher qualifications (twice as many teachers have Master’s degrees today).
  • This comparison, however, fails to account for a significant difference between the cohort of students in public school in 2003 and the cohort attending public school in 1970.