Where Does the $ Go?

Thanks to the folks at USC’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program for this nice graphic on $ and education around the world.


Via: MAT@USC | Master’s of Arts in Teaching

But this raises another mystery: We’ve known for a long time that more money does not tend to lead to more learning, once you get past a bare minimum (which we did a long time ago). So here’s my question: Where does all that money go in the U.S.??

Why do we spend so much more? Has anyone seen a good answer to this? I’d love to see what percentage of our spending goes to things that other countries’ education budgets don’t have to cover (i.e. health care for teachers). One report (PDF here) states that this difference alone could account for up to 8% of the variation between our expenses and those of other nations. Well, if that’s true, that’s not actually very much.

Has anyone tried to compare countries’ spending while controlling for differences in how non-salaried benefits get distributed from place to place? Also, I’d love to see what percentage of our spending goes to technology compared to the spending in other countries… Anyone ever seen anything that reveals the story behind the money? I may be missing something, but I can’t seem to find any really strong analysis of the money story—even though we are talking about huge sums of money…

EducationAmanda Ripley