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ERIC Number: ED529996
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May-5
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Review of "They Spend What? The Real Cost of Public Schools"
Altemus, Vaughn
Education and the Public Interest Center
The CATO Institute's Policy Analysis "They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools" contends that the figures most commonly associated with spending on K-12 public education do not include all relevant expenditures. It also cites survey evidence suggesting that voters underestimate the cost of education and, when presented with a higher per-pupil expenditure figure, will support lower spending. The report notes that education is the largest spending category in combined state and local budgets, and it examines spending in five of the nation's largest metropolitan areas plus the District of Columbia. The heart of the analysis is a comparison, within each of the selected districts, of three alternative calculations of school spending. An estimated private school cost is also calculated and presented. The report presents large "real" costs per pupil. However, the spending numbers calculated for the report actually double count, adding in both capital construction and debt service. The use of flawed data renders the report to be of limited value in policymaking. (Contains 15 notes.) [This paper reviews the following document: "They Spend What? The Real Cost of Public Schools. Policy Analysis. No. 662" (ED520370).]
Education and the Public Interest Center. School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. Tel: 303-447-EPIC; Fax: 303-492-7090; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Authoring Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder, Education and the Public Interest Center; Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit