Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Education or Prison

The funding of K-12 education in the United States deserves special and immediate attention, and none more so than spending on education in the state of California.

In the January 2011 version of Cal Facts, the amount spent on K-12 education is reported along with another interesting statistic; spending on the incarceration of criminals. 

Cal Facts reported that for the budget year 2009-2010 expenditures per participant on prisoners were four times the amount spent on K-12 education.  Specifically, California spent $46,700 per adult incarcerated in California's correctional system. Comparatively, the state and other government entities spent a mere $11,405 per K-12 student. 

In expenditures per participant, why is California spending four times the amount on prisoners than on K-12 education?  

California's spending patterns on prisons and K-12 education complement well the argument by Truthout's staff that we have a school-to-prison pipeline.

Taylor, Mac. "Cal Facts." California Legislative Analyst's Office January 2011(PDF).

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