So, I was listening to Garage Logic which is a show all of you should listen to and Joe Soucheray (the host) kept on citing that St. Paul public schools spend $17,000 per pupil per year. This translates into $221,000 per pupil over the course of their k-12 career, and that does not include baby-sitting school...er...I mean "pre-school."
This got me thinking.
"What if we just gave the kids the $221,000 instead of educated them? Wouldn't they be better off? I mean, I never had $221,000 in my name in my LIFE. But by the age of 18, you could buy a house FOR CASH and never have to pay rent again."
So I looked up the median price of a home in St. Paul. $197,607 (though this may change of course).
It's actually CHEAPER to BUY A HOUSE in St. Paul than educate one of their precious chllllllldrnnnnnnn. You could buy 1.1 houses per pupil instead of sending them to school.
And I think that's a great ratio to see how much we're pissing away...err..."investing" in the chllllldrnnnnnn. "Houses Afforded Per Pupil."
Seeing this isn't terribly difficult to look up, I decided to calculate a couple other cities' "Houses Afforded Per Pupil" and see if just giving these chlllllldrnnnn their education-cash equivalent instead, wouldn't be a better investment.
Minneapolis 1.22 Houses Per Pupil
Washington DC .65 Houses Per Pupil
Cincinnati 1.02 Houses Per Pupil
Newark 1.35 Houses Per Pupil
Kansas City 1.79 Houses Per Pupil
And let's not forget the cities where pupils could not only own their own home, but start off with a second investment property
Detroit 2.09 Houses Per Pupil
St. Louis 2.69 Houses Per Pupil
Now what's great about this, is it puts the public schools of these cities in a real difficult position.
1. I'll claim, right here, right now the students of these districts are poorer students. Not in terms of wealth, but caliber. The rate of return we'll receive from these students is not worth the investment because the majority of them don't have the quality family upbringing they need to appreciate an education or (as it was in my case) at least a parent that would FORCE you to go to school because they did know what was best for you.
2. The quality and caliber of instruction and teachers is on par with the students. You don't really teach in those schools. You baby sit. Maybe a handful of you have skills and really care about the children, but most of you can't do math and chose education to avoid any rigor or challenge in your "career." Plus, hey, 3 months off!
3. Since these kids really aren't getting an education from you, why don't we make their lives better and just give them a house (or again, TWO)? That will benefit them more than your teaching/baby sitting them.
4. HECK, forget the major city schools. Just any school. Again, I've never had $221,000 in my name before. I, along with pretty much everybody else, would have been in a much better financial position if we were just given the dough AND never attended college. Nobody would have a mortgage, unless they really wanted a nice house, in which case their LTV would still be better. Heck, the housing crisis would end tomorrow.
Of course, I'm only being slightly disingenuous. I know you can't have kids just running around feral from 4-18. And without the discipline and education that comes from schooling, they will not have the ability to be responsible adults and even maintain the free house/s we working people would give them. But we do need to wake up and realize there is something VERY wrong with the public schools when we spend SO MUCH MONEY ON ELEMENTARY EDUCATION WE COULD INSTEAD GIVE EVERY CHILD THE AMERICAN DREAM OUTRIGHT.
But let's try an idea I have instead (because I'm not the type to complain and not provide a solution).
Wouldn't it be better to just home school or outsource as much schooling as possible over the internet? Close down these schools, privatize the development and deployment of classes with some government standards and oversight, give the kids not just the ability to have an education, but to explore whatever they'd like for free? We'd cut down on public school expenditures by at least 80% and with NO DROP IN THE QUALITY of education (because you can only go up from here, right Detroit?)
And then with those savings buy most kids anyway a house or at least a mean down payment on one?
Wouldn't THAT be better for them? To have the education AND a house?
Because I know I DO CARE about the children.
And I know you teachers care about the children too, right?