Focus Point - Wasting Money in School

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. President Clinton wants another $8.5 billion in new federal education spending. But years of studies have showed with painful clarity that spending has gone up as student performance has gone down.

Between 1960 and 1990, spending per student more than tripled. Between 1973 and 1993, public school spending doubled. But despite the flood of money, sat scores declined. And, according to the national taxpayers union, when ill-prepared students hit college, they dropped out in record numbers.

So why shovel billions more into a system that doesn't work? If this were being done in the hope that something new might work, that's one thing. But we have three decades of proof that we're just burning money. What we have been doing hasn't worked. I am not opposed to spending the money -- I just want it spent right, by giving it to parents in the form of scholarships that they can use to send their children to schools that educate them.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.