As the Denver Post reports:
Colorado ranks among the stingiest states in the nation in how much it spends to educate its children, according to a government report released Monday.
The report by the U.S. Census Bureau found the state ranked 40th in spending per pupil in 2007.
Colorado fared even worse in how much of its personal income goes toward public education. It spent the second-lowest amount per $1,000 of income, ahead of only Florida. [Pols emphasis]
“I think this study kind of confirms, to be perfectly honest, what we’ve known: that the underlying tax structure that supports Colorado public schools has, in some cases, not been working well,” said Dwight Jones, the state’s commissioner of education.
The Census Bureau found that Colorado spent $8,167 per pupil, 11th from the bottom nationally, during the 2006-07 school year. That is below the national average of $9,666 and almost half the amount spent by New York, the top state.
We like to imagine that it’s Mississippi, Alabama, or another stereotype Deep South state that saves Colorado every year from ranking dead-last in education spending as a percentage of income. Okay, Florida then. Close enough.
And yes, we know we’re in the middle of the Great Recession so further painful cuts to education loom, which puts even many Democrats in the position of reciting boilerplate about using “what we have” as efficiently as possible instead of leveling the truth: recession or no recession, efficiencies or no efficiencies, we’re in a nationally embarrassing predicament.