Comparing Presidents, Is Our Schools Being Funded?

This post is on spending on education by administration. Its a follow-up to a post I wrote yesterday on enrollment in school.

Data comes from OMB Table 3.2, and I’m using spending on elementary, secondary, vocational, and higher education, along with spending on research and general education aids, all as a percentage of the total federal spending.

So here’s what it looks like.

A summary.

Spending figures may go some way toward explaining the big increases in educational enrollment under JFK/LBJ shown in in my earlier post on education enrollment. There were also increases under GW, but he was more middle of the pack despite the big increases in spending in his administration so far. Now, it may go some way toward excusing him, but considering enrollment was above 90% for the 14 to 17 year olds, there wasn’t much further upside. Except, of course, that with people picked by Rod Paige counting the numbers, who believes them? On the plus side, all that spending has attracted some of the finest minds into the industry, so no doubt there really is some progress of some kind. It’s a welcome change to see that W getting some results after a huge amount of spending.

Some correlations…

It isn’t much, but it does seem like a spending increase in one year leads to a bit of an increase in enrollment in the next year (14 – 17 year olds) or the year after (20 – 24 year olds), though these correlations aren’t strong. And the more people enrolling in college, the greater the increase in federal spending the next year. I assume part of the difference is that a lot of the funding comes from state and local sources.