The United States spends more per-pupil on K-12 schooling than any other of the 34 wealthiest countries in the world except for Switzerland, but American students consistently score at or below average in reading, math and science, according to a report prepared by the Mercatus Center, a research center associated with George Mason University. In the U.S, inflation-adjusted K-12 spending tripled over the last 40 years. In 1970, it cost this country $50,000 to send a child to school for 13 years. By 2009 this had grown to $149,000.

For this analysis, the Mercatus Center used data provided by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. OECD also conducts a “Program for International Student Assessment,” which provides an international benchmark for student performance.

Michigan’s spending and results mirror the situation: In 2007 the state spent $11,337 per pupil on school operating costs — the 16th highest in the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But students in this state on average rank between 33rd and 39th nationally based on 4th and 8th grade reading and math scores, based on National Assessment of Educational Progress results, considered the most reliable for state comparisons.

Other reports suggest Michigan’s academic performance is even worse compared to other states. The American Legislative Exchange Council’s “Report Card on American Education” controlled for variances in socio-economic levels between states by analyzing NAEP scores only of students who qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Measuring 2009 achievement scores and gains or losses made from 2003 to 2009 on the NAEP, Michigan ranked 49th out of 50 states — ahead of only West Virginia.

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See also:

The Salary History of a West Bloomfield Public School Teacher

The Salary History of a Michigan Public School Teacher

Paid to Leave: Generous Teacher Buyouts at East Lansing Public Schools

Michigan Teacher Pay 16.5 Percent Higher Than Indiana

Don't Tenure Current Teacher Tenure Law

Budget Savings Drained and Raises Continue at Alpena Schools

Paying Teachers Not to Teach

Warren Schools: Plenty of Desks, But Not Enough Cost-Cutting?

Warren Board Member: "MEA Will Eat Their Young"

Union Leader's Claim of School Kids Sitting on Floors Draws More Denials

What is the Future for Michigan's Public Employee Unions?

Michigan Public Employee Pay and Benefits Growing

Government Pay Outpaces Private Sector

MEA Has $174.5 Million in Liabilities, $66.3 Million in Dues

Nearly One Thousand Six-Figure Salaries at UAW and National Education Association

Employee Health Insurance Premium Co-Pays Still Rare at Public Schools

Michigan Public School Health Insurance Costs Soar Above National Trends

Public Employees Pay Least Toward Their Health Insurance

Districts Save With Health Savings Accounts

Snyder Talks Up 'Fixing Michigan' in Chelsea

Moss Message: Champagne Bubbles

Michigan Public Employees Compensation Growing Despite Concessions Claims

Why a Democrat Voted Against a State Employee Pay Hike

The People and the Political Class