Across the States
Will Billions Help?
Currently, 62,300 students are enrolled in the District of Columbia Public Schools, and the District spends over $15,000 per student—with more funds on the way. The D.C. Council recently designated $1 billion in new school spending to be spread over the next 10 years, bringing the total earmarked for school improvements up to $2.5 billion.
Despite this escalation in school funding, the Washington Post reports that 24% of D.C. voters identify education as “the biggest problem facing the District today.” After a rash of homicides and the declaration of a “crime emergency” in early July 2006, former school board member Emily Y. Washington told candidates for mayor that the “carnage in the streets” is directly related to the quality of public education in the city. Billions and billions of dollars of investment have not been enough to turn around the D.C. public schools.
The District’s homeschoolers have budgets in the hundreds, not billions, of dollars, yet they get results that would be the envy of any urban school district. Homeschoolers have proven over and over that parents who love their children enough to teach them one-on-one can get good results, regardless of race, income, or academic background. It may not make the papers, but D.C. homeschoolers have already solved the biggest problem facing the District today.
— by Scott W. Somerville