Sunday, May 29, 2011

Superintendent Bootz' Idea

" I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!"

Nathan Bootz, the superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools in Michigan.

Here in the education-starved land of Arizona we spend $7,608 per year for each public school student. In the same period measured and discussed in this report released last June the national average was $10,259.

Arizona spends $61.74 per day (according the the Arizona Department of Corrections website,) to imprison each of its inmates. That comes out to $22,535 per year for each prisoner.

But of course public schools students aren't housed 365 days per year. Only about 180, so if you take that number and multiply it out by the same amount it costs us to incarcerate a person for their first-time marijuana bust, you get $11,113 per student per year. A far cry from the amount we now spend, and cuts to education will only make the numbers even worse.

Le voila!

The answer to our spending problems for public schools is to simply turn them into prisons, as suggested by Superintendent Bootz.

However, it will be argued that unlike prisoners, students are housed for only part of the day; about 8 hours. That of course would reduce the amount spent on students to about $3,704 per year.

Maybe it's not such a good idea after all.

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