Do You Still Think DC Spends Only $15,000/Pupil?

The District of Columbia spent over $28,000 per pupil in the 2008-09 school year. This year is probably similar. So why does (almost) everyone still claim the figure is around half that much? John Stossel has a good summary here.

If you’d like all the gory details, drawn from the official DC budget documents and the District’s own audited enrollment figures, then have a look at this Excel spreadsheet file.

I’m happy to go over the calculation with any DC or DCPS official – or journalist – who would care to dispute it. (It’s only been challenged once before, and the official in question fell silent after seeing the spreadsheet.)

Isn’t it about time that the local media start telling it like it is, and acknowledge that the District of Columbia spends four times as much per pupil as local voucher-receiving private schools charge in tuition ($6,620), while still getting worse academic results?