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October 4, 2015

Highlighting how state education spending decreases as state corrections spending increases

Following on the heels of the Education Secretary urging states to spend less of prisons and more on schools (noted here), this Christian Science Monitor article notes reports on the relationship between different kinds of human capital investments states have made in recent years.  The article is headlined "The hidden costs of funding prisons instead of schools: As state incarceration rates continue to rise across the country, so are cuts in higher education funding."  Here are excerpts (with links from the original):

Lawmakers in 11 states are spending more on prisons and jails than their public colleges, according to a report compiled by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  According to the report, state budgets for public universities have been cut about 20 percent since 2008 when recession hit, while funding for prisons has spiked 141 percent.  

That's solving the wrong side of the problem, argued Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during a speech this week. "The linkage between education, or a lack thereof, and incarceration is powerful," he said.  "More than two-thirds of state prison inmates are high school dropouts," said Secretary Duncan, "and an African-American male between the ages of 20 and 24 without a high school diploma or GED has a higher chance of being imprisoned than of being employed."

A 2014 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows a direct correlation between increased prison spending and cuts in education. Not surprisingly, states with the highest incarceration rates pull the most money from their schools.  And that drives up tuition at public universities, reports CNN. State funding "accounts for about half of a typical school's budget," CNN reports. "The other half comes from the federal government and tuition and fees."

According to the new AAAS report, the states that spend more on prisons than universities are Michigan, Oregon, Arizona, Vermont, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. 

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October 4, 2015 at 02:02 PM | Permalink

Comments

The reason criminals have low educational attainment is that education costs them too much lost income, and returns very little of value to them. Imagine if attending school would cost you $500 a day in gross drug sales, that you party with teen age hussies to 4 AM, go to sleep, and have to wake up at 7 AM to catch a bus.

Then get to school. There, the lawyer has protected, empowered, and privileged the gangbanger. Try even some verbal criticism, as a disciplinary dean, you get litigation for racial discrimination. So, you get to school, and the competition is waiting for you, hold their Nines sideways.

Now compare these problems with rent seeking tax increases to fund schools at a higher level than the highest level in the world already.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 4, 2015 4:02:40 PM

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