Funds, Good Students Unrelated, Study Says Cultural, Ethnic Differences Also Discounted

Article excerpt

Spending more money on public schools does not produce better students, according to a report released Thursday.

The study, conducted for the American Legislative Exchange Council, said spending had increased rapidly in the last 20 years but student performance had not. The council is an association of state legislators.

"The data convincingly demonstrate that after the most sustained financial commitment ever made to solving the problems of America's public schools, public schools have cost us dearly but are performing no better," said Samuel Brunelli, the council's executive director. About $2 trillion has been spent on education in the last two decades.

The organization used 13 indicators to measure education, from school dropout rates to college entrance test scores, and found no direct correlation between spending and student performance.

The organization said 10 states stood out in top student performances: Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and South Dakota. Three states - Montana, Colorado and Missouri - follow closely behind, the report says.

Only Wisconsin ranked among the top 10 in per pupil spending, the group said. …