Posted by Flatnose
Americans vastly underestimate spending on schools and teacher salaries, survey finds
Americans have a thoroughly confused grasp of how much is currently being spent on public education, reports a recent analysis of national survey results published in the summer issue of Education Next magazine.
William Howell, of the University of Chicago, and Martin R. West, of Brown University, report that "the average respondent surveyed in 2007 thought per pupil spending in their district was just $4,231 dollars, even though the actual average spending per pupil among districts was $10,377 in 2005 (the most recent year for which data are available)."
This misunderstanding may be a major factor behind public support for initiatives to increase spending on schools and teacher salaries, says Education Next.
Howell and West also found Americans think that teachers earn far less than is actually the case. On average, the public underestimated average teacher salaries in their own state by $14,370. The average estimate among survey respondents was $33,054, while average teacher salary nationally in 2005 was actually $47,602.
Almost 96 percent of the public underestimate either per-pupil spending in their districts or teacher salaries in their states.
Read the entire article here.