By The Hechinger Report
How much does it cost to educate a child? It often feels like policymakers pick numbers out of a hat. Utah spends less than $7,000 a year on a student from kindergarten through high school. New York spends more than $20,000, federal data show. Within the state of Illinois, a wealthy district typically spends $3,400 more than a poor district, according to a February 2018 study by The Education Trust, a nonprofit group that conducts research and advocates for low-income students. Cost of living differences account for some of these gaps but not all or even most of them, says Ary Amerikaner of Education Trust.
Now a team of five researchers from Rutgers University in collaboration with the Education Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization, has created a complicated model that predicts how much money it would cost each school district in America to get its students to reach average test scores in math and reading, as recorded from 2013 to 2015. This is not a particularly ambitious goal; the average test score in the U.S. is well below what is considered “proficient” for each grade level.