by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The Education Next — Program on Education Policy and Governance — Survey 2014, a nationally representative sample of over 5,000 adults, was released today.
As usual, I found that the “information gap” questions to be the most telling. For example, respondents were asked to estimate the average per pupil expenditure for their local school district.
The average respondent underestimated the per student expenditure by a few thousand dollars. North Carolina spends an average of $9,000+ per student, for example.
With the exception of teachers, who should have some awareness of their own salaries, most respondents also underestimated their state’s average teacher salaries by several thousand dollars.
So, it is no wonder that the public is so supportive of funding increases for public schools. They have no idea how much taxpayers spend on public schools or pay public school teachers.