Throwing money at a problem

Politicians in the big-government crowd would have us believe that spending tons of money on public schools is the way to ensure children get good educations. Really? Ask parents in Detroit about that.

At $14,259, Detroit public schools’ per-pupil spending is the eighth-highest of the 100 largest school districts in the nation. Yet 50 of the city’s public schools have been put on a list for special state attention, due to poor academic performance of students.

And last week, things got worse. Students in 34 Detroit schools were told that if they want water, it will have to come from bottles or special coolers installed by the district. Water in their buildings’ plumbing systems is not safe to drink, because of high levels of lead and copper.

Unlike the situation in nearby Flint, Mich., the problem in Detroit is not the water coming into the buildings. It is aged pipes and fixtures within them.

Fully one-third of Detroit school buildings have been neglected so badly that their plumbing systems may be hazardous to students’ health.

How is it that Detroit can spend so much money on public schools and not even have safe buildings? Taxpayers there should be asking that. Those elsewhere should remember that throwing money at a problem may not solve it.

By Kerry Minor

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