To Spend or Not To Spend
More money does not necessarily mean a better education. Many states that spent little money on education had higher graduation rates than states that spent large amounts of money on education. I opine that the Arizona voters and legislators should not decrease state funding for K-12 schools. At the same time I don't think they should necessarily increase funds either. The reasoning for this opinion is the factual proof that there is no correlation between funding spent and graduation rate.
For example, in 2006 Utah had a graduation rate of 78.9%, but only spent $5,437 in per pupil. This compares to Arizona which had a graduation rate 67.8%, but spent $6,472 per pupil. New York has the highest per pupil spending at $14,884 per student, yet has a lower graduation than both Utah and Arizona at 64.4%. These statistics strongly indicate that students in states with higher per pupil spending don't necessarily receive a better education.
The graduation rate for each state varies depending on the mindset of the students, and/or the teachers. The money spent accounts for the higher quality facilities, services and resources. Neither decreasing nor increasing Arizona's state funding seems to be the answer for improving the quality of education. I believe that the solution lies in how the existing funding is spent. Just because a teacher is paid more, doesn't make them a better teacher. And just because a school has a well equipped computer lab or state of the art classrooms, doesn't mean students will achieve higher test scores. The Arizona voters and Legislators...