RALEIGH – Arguably the central 2018 campaign theme for North Carolina Democrats is education. More specifically, calling for higher education spending, including teacher pay and per pupil expenditures. This, Democrats argue, is the key to improving education in the Old North State. Not school choice options, more accountability for teachers, or freedom in education approaches, but money – and lots of it.
However, there exist examples across the nation of states and school districts that spend incredible amounts of money on education only to see student performance wither.
Such can be seen in the most recent U.S. News report ranking the Best States for Education. Curiously, the list of best to worst does not follow a parallel list of most genrous to most thrifty education spenders.
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In fact, North Carolina places 16th on the list, an aggregate of placing tenth in higher education, and 23rd in PreK-12 education. Our neighbor southern neighbor however doesn’t perform so well, though, despite spending more money per pupil.
South Carolina is near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to education? How can that be if they spend more “for the kids” than their mean-spirited Republican-dominated neighbor to the north?
While North Carolina has been steadily raising teacher pay and school funding over the last seven years, Democrats will continue to smear the Republican majorities on education, using kids as rhetorical shields as they ignore the actual data to push for Big Government in education.
Further confirming the lack of a relationship between education quality and education spending, Utah comes in 3rd on this list even though it has some of the lowest per pupil spending levels in the country (nearly half the national average).
Even policies cited as positive influences on the quality of education, like charter schools, or voucher programs, are attacked relentlessly by the Left as somehow being racist. They have no other choice than to pull out the race card when ever their central government control of education is under threat.
So next time you over hear someone regurgitating Democrat talking points about education spending and those evil Republicans on Jones Street, chime in to ask them how it is that we in North Carolina spend less per pupil than the Palmetto State, but trounce them in education performance? Just be prepared to be called a racist.
Read the full list of rankings here.