Just one example of the reverse Midas touch of the US government can be found here: Yes, there’s bloat in New Jersey public schools. Since 2001, the NJ school system added 3/4 of an employee for every additional student, with basically less than nothing to show for it.
[T]he real budget-buster has been health and pension costs. Between 2001 and 2006 (the latest year data are available), total benefit costs rose by a whopping 115 percent, adding several billion dollars to school costs.
After this runup, outlays are now a whopping $16,000 per student, nearly 60 percent above the national average. Jersey already was a leader in this spending category back in 2001; the spending spree has widened the gap, at great taxpayer cost.
There’s been little educational payoff. Performance on national education-assessment tests has been a mixed bag. On crucial eighth-grade reading tests, for instance, the percentage of Jersey students scoring at or above proficient in 2009 was just 42 percent, up slightly from 38 percent in 2005.
Let me get this straight. $16K/pupil and where 3 out of 5 kids can’t even read at grade level?!