essay 3 final - May 6 2009 English 1B Professor Draegan...

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May 6, 2009 English 1B Professor Draegan English 1B Spring 2009 Contradictions within a Nation There is an indisputable value taught to every child in America. "Upon the subject of education, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in," Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. From the moment our younger generation can understand the wisdom of their elders they learn the absolute importance of an excellent education. It is a consistent value taught and instilled in all families, from generation to generation; a value so important that most look upon their government, politicians and representatives to prioritize the education system on their agendas. It is an American theme which I completely agree with. But the issue I found was the contradiction presented through our political system. Education is seemingly always the first sacrificial lamb offered when our “economy god” calls for a reduction in spending especially here in our own state of California. This means as a nation we value monetary security, and more often than not, we sacrifice the long term well being of our country for the short term benefits. First off, how is education funded in the United States and California? The answer to that must be found before we can analyze any problems stemming from it. After Sepassi 2
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all, it is rather hard to grab the apple when you can’t get to the root and stems of the tree. Education has three primary sources of funding: state government- 47%, federal government-9%, local-42% (U.S. Census Bureau). The majority of which comes from taxes; a portion of sales tax from states and income tax from the feds are spent on education and the majority of property taxes are used for local schools (Carey). But funding may vary state by state as each state is permitted by the Federal Government to establish its own funding levels. For example in 2004-2005 New York spends averaged $14,119 per student for its core spending while California spent a mere $8,000 per-pupil and Utah with the lowest national average of per-pupil spending with only $5,257 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Also, a state may choose to use more federal funding and less local or state funding. These revenues are then distributed among the necessary needs of schools such as instructional which receives 65.9% of total revenue, 5.2% goes to student support services, 10.8% goes to administrations and 18.1% goes to operations (U.S. Census Bureau). This information will better allow us to understand and analyze our countries handling of the education situation. As we can see there is much fluctuation of levels of spending between states on education. The fluctuation makes a big difference. Utah and California is ranked near the bottom of the “smartest states” ranking, a state ranking publication done by Morgan Quitno Press. Vermont who scored the highest on the rankings list spends an average of $12,000 per-pupil in their education system. The statistics prove that the amount we spend on
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essay 3 final - May 6 2009 English 1B Professor Draegan...

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