A new poll of American teachers shows that they have little idea how much money America spends on their behalf, but whatever that amount is, it’s definitely not enough.
A poll conducted by the website Education Next released Tuesday surveyed American teachers on Common Core, funding, and a host of other topics. In the poll, the typical teacher estimated that, on average, their own school district spent $7,186 per student. Nationwide, they estimated funding to be slightly lower, with a national average of $6,783.
In fact, teachers were wildly off the mark. Among teachers who were surveyed, the actual average spending per pupil in their districts was $12,325, and the national average is $12,010. In other words, teachers are underestimating school spending by about 40 percent.
Teachers are hardly exceptional in being so wildly off the mark. The general public and parents also estimated school spending to be roughly half of what it actually is. But the data also shows that, despite being much more closely involved in school operations than the average person, teachers are only slightly more aware about the realities of education spending. (RELATED: Chicago Fires 1400 Teachers To Fund Extravagant Pensions)
Despite being vastly off the mark in how much funding they receive, teachers are also confident that U.S. schools require big increases in funding. Even when they were invited to offer a spending estimate, and then shown correct data that demonstrated they were wildly off the mark, 55 percent of teachers said U.S. school funding should be increased. But being shown their mistake may have had some effect, as teachers who were never invited to estimate per-pupil spending were somewhat more likely to ask for spending hikes.
Teachers also were way off the mark in estimating how important the federal government is to funding education. Nationally, the federal government provides only 10 percent of K-12 education funding, but teachers estimated the federal government provided 30 percent of funding.
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