Training budgets

Suppose your job is to train people. To do certain work at your company. And suppose you use various exams. To find out how well they are trained.

Your company puts $200,000 into your budget. They adjust it each year to compensate for inflation. You set about your training. You give your exams. You determine how well or poorly your trainees do.

Now suppose you raise the ante. You ask the company to increase your training budget. You claim that with a bigger budget you will improve your trainees performances. You pay for consultants to re-shape your programs. You hire extra trainers and trainer assistants. You spend more money to train your teachers. You give your teachers big raises and more benefits.

Ah, but your spending does no good. In fact, your trainees’ scores drop on their exams.

You double up. You persuade your company to add even more to your budget. You add more consultants. You train teachers more. You give them more assistants. And more money and benefits. You buy more manuals, newer training equipment.

Ah, but your trainees’ scores drop more.

Suppose this pattern continues for fifty years. You ask for more money. You pour it into your training program. The trainees continue to do worse on exams. Your latest trainees cannot pass the exams trainees of fifty years ago passed.

By now your spending per trainee is three times what it was when you started.

What is your next move? Do you ask for an increase in your training budget? Do you bare your fangs at anyone who suggests you trim your budget?

This is where we are with our spending on education. We spend three times more on each student today than we spent in 1960. This is three times more after, after we adjust for inflation. Three times more!

Every year our education bureaucracy asks for more. Every year our politicians promise and spend more. Oh, occasionally we see a slight dip when times are bad. But we all know each dip is a blip.

If any politician threatens to cut education spending he is accused of condemning our children to ignorance. The education unions will spend millions to hand him his coat - his head - at the next election.

We, as a people, ignore reality. We ignore results. Lately people have been defending Head Start. Congressional leaders suggest we trim our spending on Head Start by a modest amount. From the roar of the educrats and the Left you would think the proposal was to barbeque the kiddies.

This nation has spent $166 billion on Head Start since its founding in 1965. We spent the money to help dis-advantaged pre-schoolers do better in school. Study after study has found this program has simply not worked. The kids do not do any better than before. Than before the $166 billion. Even the Department of Health and Human Services finds the kids do no better.

The program does not work. We spend nearly $23,000 per student per year. And guess what we did from 2008 to 2009? We raised our budget for the program by nearly 50 percent.

It is as simple as two plus two plus two makes two.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

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