Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Could I Do With $4,700?

That's the reported cost per student that our local school district spends each year. I read that in the paper today. The article was about how districts in our state are locked into their budgets from 2005 due to a cap placed by the state. With gas prices, property taxes and a number of things on the rise, the districts are in real trouble.

So, basically they only have $4,700 to spend on each student this year. Well, I realize that each child does not actually get that amount of money spent on them personally. There are teacher salaries to pay, new buildings to build, gas to buy for buses, and any other number of places the money goes.

But what if each child actually did have that amount of money spent on their personal education each year? Would that improve the quality of education? Would that ensure that each child would be successful? Would our schools then be so phenomenal that our students would graduate early and be extremely successful?

I think we all know that would not be the case. I realize that school districts must have money to do the task that they do, but there is so much more to a child's education than money. I know as homeschoolers we sometimes drool over curriculum fairs and sweat while walking through teacher supply stores or used book stores. OH the wonderful things we could do if only we owned x, y, or z. Imagine if you were given a check for $4,700 PER CHILD in your home this year earmarked purely for their education (and, OK lunch too). Imagine that! What would you run off and buy? What field trips would you plan? What extra-curricular things would you sign up for?

But today I am reminded of what matters most.

This year, we will buy what we need (used if possible). We will be creative and frugal and our children will learn. Because we know that money is not what creates a quality education. We have a library card. We have paper and pencils. We have Bibles. We have internet access. We have a few textbooks and workbooks. Most of all, we have time together at home.

No district, no budget, no amount of money spent....could invest in our children the way we do. Anyone agree?

But if I did have that money...I promise I would spend it very wisely! :) What would you do for your homeschool with that money?


  1. Amen!!! Great post Brenda!!
    :) Carisa

  2. Brenda, due to recent revenue shortfalls down here, per pupil spending has dropped to about $7000per student due to budget cuts. "Everyone" is in an uproar, according to numerous editorial pages. $7000?! And we still can't graduate a decent number of literate students. Homeschoolers out perform public school students by a mile. If that doesn't tell you that education is about much more than money, I don't know what will. Yet eveyone continues to yell, "we need better/more education funding!"


  3. Hmmm. It sure would be fun to have the money to spend on home schooling. What about a trip to a place of interest????


  4. Oh wow. For starters I would redo the school room with chairs and tables that fit the boys comfortably rather than the hodgepodge we currently use. Plus bookshelves for all the great books and a bigger white board and bulletin board.

    Can you tell I'd be ready to go shopping?

  5. Gosh Elle, you are ready, aren't you? All I could think of would probably only amount to hundreds of dollars. So, I was thinking plane tickets like Julie!

  6. I would take the first year's money and add a room onto the house. Maybe wall in one of the garage ports and have an actual ROOM to use.

    Then subsequent years we would have better supplies and have a REALLY special lunch in everyone's birthday month.

    Oh, and really cool washable markers.

  7. Thank you!!! I was so annoyed when I read our district was spening upwards of $5800 per student and not meeting half the benchmaks... I told my husband not counting supplies and clothes, my goals was to spend $500 or less of curriculum supplies this year... And hope to not ask for any money from him (I have little bits of money now and then and if budgeted right I can get the core pieces we need without dipping into the family budget)

  8. hmmm over 4000 dollars... I would buy all the books I needed instead of failing at the libray system everytime -I am chronically late!
    I would buy KONOS and do everything in it! I would hire a housekeeper to come do some stuff twice a week. I wouldnt worry how much field trips cost! I would pay a piano teacher to come to my house. and I would put the rest away towards a school vacation, you know like Disneyworld!

    All that for 4000 but wait I have three kids so that is 12000, We would go to Disneyworld twice!!!!!
    Carrie in Texas


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)