Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Educational Intelligence Agency Spending Statistics for 2004-2005

The Education Intelligence Agency has updated the Public School District Enrollment and Spending for 14,000 public school district.

The average per pupil spending for 2004-2005 was $8701 in the United States, New Hampshire was spending $9448 per student during that same time period. During the 2004-2005 school year New Hampshire had an enrollment of 202,195 students this is down -3.01% since 2000-2001. In 2004-2005 New Hampshire had 15,297 teachers up 6.67% from 2000-2001 despite a 3.01% decrease in student enrollment. During this same time period student per pupil spending went up 33.73% while inflation only went up 10% during that same time period. New Hampshire's student has 13 students for every one teacher in New Hampshire for the 2004-2005 school year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Inadequate: Education definition fails

The following editorial appeared in the Union Leader.

If you can attend please attend the rally at the State House on June 27th at 9:00 am.

Inadequate: Education definition fails

HOUSE AND SENATE negotiators last week agreed on a definition of "adequate education" that would wreck state finances.

The definition includes full-day kindergarten, meaning that every district now providing half-day or no kindergarten will be required to upgrade, costing the state tens of millions of dollars.

The definition also requires more intensive investments in schools deemed to have special needs. Another big cost for state taxpayers.

The bill is quite vague, leaving exact definitions to the executive branch, and comes with no price tag. The cost is to be determined by a legislative committee. If that sounds familiar, it's basically the arrangement the Supreme Court's Londonderry ruling, which commanded legislators to define "adequate education" with great specificity, struck down.

The court wrote that "under the statutory scheme there is no way a citizen or a school district in this state can determine the distinct substantive content of a constitutionally adequate education. Consequently, its cost cannot be isolated. Such a system is also impervious to meaningful judicial review."

That would seem to apply to this bill as well.

"Any definition of constitutional adequacy crafted by the political branches must be sufficiently clear to permit common understanding and allow for an objective determination of costs," the court wrote.

This bill does not appear to be "sufficiently clear," as the court mandated.

Now, we think the court was completely wrong in its ruling and its orders were preposterous. Legislators could have told the court to buzz off. Or they could have crafted a definition that obligated the state to no more than it currently pays.

Instead, they came up with a broad and vague definition that will saddle the state with an enormous new burden that almost certainly will have to be financed with a broadbased tax -- and that is subject to more lawsuits because it appears to fail to do what the court ordered.

Gov. John Lynch has indicated his approval of this bill. But he should not sign it unless legislators also pass CACR 19, the constitutional amendment that would render the Londonderry ruling moot. With that amendment, this awful definition of educational adequacy could be changed or abolished and the court could say nothing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

John Stossel: Bill Gates needs an economics course

John Stossel hits one out of the park again with the article below which appears on Not only does Bill Gates need a course in economics but it should be a requirement for legislators and teachers as well. Unfortunately it seems that most of them have only studied Karl Marx's theory of economics.

John Stossel: Bill Gates needs an economics course

DROPPING OUT of college didn't stop Bill Gates from making tons of money, but it kept him from classes where he might have learned about the beauty of spontaneous market processes.

Never mind. I forgot that he attended Harvard. He might not have learned about markets after all.

Gates spoke at Harvard recently, urging graduating students to take on the "world's deepest inequities [including] world hunger ... the scarcity of clean water ... children who die from diseases we can cure." All of us want those problems solved, and through their charitable foundation, Gates and his wife, Melinda, have certainly put their money where their mouths are. But Gates seems unaware that these problems can't be eliminated in the simplistic way he advocates.

He told the grads, "The market did not reward saving the lives of these children [in poor countries], and governments did not subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system."

What is Gates talking about?

Can he name one poor country that permits the free market to operate? The problem is not that the market doesn't make it profitable to save lives -- it most certainly does. The problem is that Third World countries have overbearing, corrupt governments that are obstacles to private property and freedom. That's why the children's parents have no voice or power.

Poor people in the West and in East Asia lifted themselves out of poverty by relying largely on the unplanned market process. That process -- countless individuals pursuing their own interests by trading with one another -- is, as Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek put it, a "discovery procedure." Through the price system and free competition, it clarifies tradeoffs of scarce resources, generates the lowest-cost solutions, and provides feedback about success and failure through profit and loss.

This spontaneous order is far better at "saving the lives of these children."

Maybe the Gates Foundation's private charity will work wonders, but more government-to-government subsidies won't do the trick. The trillions spent in foreign aid have little to show for it. As William Easterly writes in "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," "Economic development happens, not through aid, but through the homegrown efforts of entrepreneurs and social and political reformers. While the West was agonizing over a few tens of billion dollars in aid, the citizens of India and China raised their own incomes by $715 billion by their own efforts in free markets."

At Harvard, Gates said, "We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism -- if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities."

He misses the point. Gates faults the free market for problems caused by governments.

What constricts the reach of the free market is the state. Gates seems oblivious to all the ways that governments here and abroad cripple enterprise. In poor countries, corrupt bureaucracies smother entrepreneurship while enriching cronies.

The lack of formal property rights and stable law keeps average people from accumulating capital. So the poor stay poor. That's what causes "scarcity of clean water" and kills "children who die from diseases we can cure."

Gates said, "We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes."

He should know that for spending to better reflect people's values, governments must butt out. Politicians are notoriously bad at improving the lot of their populations. What they are good at is confiscating money and spending it the way they want it spent.

It's only when governments do less, and tax people less, that people are free to earn and keep their own money.

You want poor countries to get rich, Bill Gates? Work for free-market reform.

John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20" and the author of "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel -- Why Everything You Know is Wrong."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Can Full-Day Kindergarten Level the Playing Field.

On June 21st Senator Iris Estebrook and her fellow cronies voted to add full day kindergarten to the definition of an "adequate education" in the passing of HB 927. This clearly was pandering to the educrats and unions. Anyone in their right mind and who has done research knows that kindergarten does little to enhance long term student achievement.

For more information on this we suggest readers visit the Rand Corporation website. The following brief comes directly from their site.

For children who enter school unready to learn, policymakers have been looking to full-day kindergarten as a way to level the playing field. Using longitudinal survey data on a nationally representative sample of children, this RAND study examined issues related to school readiness and the effect of full-day kindergarten on student performance. Both academic and nonacademic school readiness skills at entry to kindergarten were significantly related to reading and mathematics achievement in fifth grade. As with earlier studies, the study finds that full-time kindergarten programs may not enhance achievement in the long term."

To read the full report go to the Rand Corporation Website.