I don’t recall learning during my 13-year attendance in K-12 public schools how much that education cost and where the money came from.
I remember having a vague notion that the funds for education came from “the state”, but I really didn’t know what that meant.
That’s a shame. I believe if students and parents better understood that the cost to educate a student in public schools runs between $8,000 to $13,000 per year they may appreciate it more.
Further, many don’t realize that this cost is relatively consistent across public school districts. I’ve had many conversations where taxpaying individuals could not believe that the spending per student in a well-reputed school district, was less or about the same as a poorly performing urban school district. It was eye-opening/myth debunking for them. Several of them would utter, “I guess it’s not about the spending then.”
Knowing this information may allow them to better understand that it’s quite a privilege, they should try to get the most out of it and not take it for granted.
Further, if students better understood that their education was funded by their families and neighbors, through property taxes, and how much was paid in property taxes, that might make students a bit more appreciative of the sacrifices their neighbors make to ensure they have a better chance to become self-sufficient and contributing members of society.
Schools could further reinforce this by establishing a code of conduct, primarily based on courtesy and respect, for this privilege. For example, for receiving a $10,000 per year education, you are expected to be courteous, clean and respectful. If you cannot maintain this standard, you will lose your access to this privilege so others can gain maximum benefit.
Maybe if parents couldn’t ensure a cooperative student, they would be billed for a portion of the cost of the child’s education or have the choice of removing the student from school.
Perhaps, each year, the schools could provide students and parents with a report showing the cost of their education. This would be similar to what companies do with an annual total compensation report that shows associates the total value of the wages and benefits they receive for employment, which I always take to mean, “quit complaining, you cost a lot!”
The same could be said for college education. When attending an institution with heavy funding from tax dollars, it would be nice for the students and parents to know what the true cost of that education is.