Cheapskate Conservatives Cheat Students | Teachers College Columbia University

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Cheapskate Conservatives Cheat Students

For years now, conservative economists have contended that sinking money into schools is pointless because test scores don't automatically rise when schools boost spending. True, spending and achievement don't always go hand in hand, but the conservative argument still doesn't make sense.
For years now, conservative economists have contended that sinking money into schools is pointless because test scores don't automatically rise when schools boost spending. True, spending and achievement don't always go hand in hand, but the conservative argument still doesn't make sense.

Certainly, schools and districts sometimes spend foolishly. But even die-hard opponents of increased spending acknowledge that, when used properly, more money can raise achievement. So let's move beyond sterile debates about whether money matters and focus instead on three areas in which added dollars could make the most difference: early childhood care and education, health, and after-school and summer programs.

Richard Rothstein, author of this article, is a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute and a visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and the author of "Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap." This article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on February 23, 2006.

Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006