It’s a matter of perspective

The graphic in today’s newspaper certainly makes it look like spending on public eduction in Clark County has been rather stagnant over the past five decades.

A chart shows the growth in the Distributive School Account, the amount of states spent per pupil each year. From 1970 to this year, according to the graphic, this has grown from $545 to $5,700, a steep almost 45-degree angle. But when adjusted for inflation on the same chart, the DSA has grown by only 60 percent. The extended line looks rather flat.

The line chart excludes other funding that has been added other the years, dismissing it as, “Other sources of funding outside the DSA have bolstered per-pupil spending, but only for certain students.” This includes Zoom funding for English learners, Victory funding for poorer schools, added special education funds and weighted funding, which is formula to added funding poor performing schools whatever the reason. According to a bar chart, this added nearly double the Clark County school funds.

Despited dismissing this as for “certain students,” money is fungible. If that money had not been added the funding would have come from the DSA. So the total spending is not $5,700 per pupil, but $11,250. Adjusted for inflation, the funding has tripled over nearly 50 years.

Changes the perspective a bit.

There is no chart showing student achievement scores over that half century.




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