Investing Limited Resources – Questions

By definition, a public institution such as public schools has limited resources.  That’s especially true in Colorado given our caps on how much revenue government can collect and spend.

That raises the question about how should we direct those dollars in an equitable manner.  Do at-risk students deserve more dollars?  Or, should high achieving students be given extra funding to accelerate their learning?  Or, should every student receive the exact same amount of financial support?  Where we will get the most return on our investment as a community and society?  Or does ROI matter in education?

Inherent in every funding and policy decision are questions such as these.  These are the questions I will ponder over the next few weeks.

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One Response to “Investing Limited Resources – Questions”

  1. Brad Jolly Says:

    John, every school — traditional public, charter, private or parochial — has limited resources. Even Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have limited resources, both in a literal sense and in the comparative sense of limited relative to what one would like to be able to do.
    Even with TABOR, public schools have the benefit of Amendment 23, which permanently ratchets up spending to account for both population growth and inflation, plus one percent (although the plus one percent part will sunset after 10 years).
    The best solution, as I see it, is to allow those students who wish to do so to escape the expensive and inefficient traditional public schools.
    To force people to attend an undesirable school that also costs taxpayers more is not good social policy.
    Finally, the fact that you could even ask the question, “does ROI [return on investment] matter in education” scares me. The whole point of publicly funding education is that we put in some “I” (investment) in the hopes of getting some sort of “R” (return) in terms of a social benefit from the “I.” Were we not expecting an “R” for our “I,” we would save everybody a lot of time and heartache by simply burning large stacks of $50 bills.
    The total expenditures and reserves for the SVVSD in the current fiscal year equates to more than 5.8 million of those $50 bills.
    To answer you question, yes, the return we get on that money matters. A lot.

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