There was a thread on the Well Trained Mind Forums that got me thinking about this. The amount in question is how much is spent per pupil here in DC. Yes, you read that right. We have one of the highest per pupil spending rates in the nation. If Mushroom and BalletBoy were in school, it would cost the city approximately $56,000 per year.
And if little old me had that money this year instead? Well, well, well…
$6,000 for the best geology field trip ever – five days in Iceland
$6,000 for the best New World history field trip ever – five days exploring Mayan ruins
$3,600 for two sets of piano lessons down the street at Levine School
$1500 and we all get iPads!
$500 stash for every school related book that catches my fancy that isn’t at the library
$1000 for season tickets to everything!
$1000 is about what I spent on curriculum and books anyway
$1500 is about what I put down on dance and other classes for the year
$1000 I’ll just keep in a fund for every activity that sounds good
$3000 to finance our next Shakespeare production in style
… Hmm… I still have nearly $31,000 left. Clearly I’m not dreaming big enough. I mean, at that rate, everyone can have their own microscope, nice digital camera, and Kindle account. If I count our upcoming trip to Africa, that would certainly help cover it. Or maybe I could refinish the basement properly and use it as a school room!
Okay, I know, I’m being completely absurd. I don’t know that I can argue that that particular amount is justified, but schools have costs that I don’t have. They have building costs and the cost of experts like Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists and so forth who a few students really need. They actually do have to buy all their books while we get the majority of ours from the library. They have administrative costs, many of which are legitimate. They have transportation costs.
But still. The sticker shock of that cost and the dreams. If only.