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Legislators Group Says Education Spending Up But Not Achievement

September 10, 1993

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Government spending on education has gone up a lot faster than students’ test scores on college entrance exams, says a group representing mostly Republican state legislators.

A study by the American Legislative Exchange Council said overall education spending increased 47 percent and per student outlays were up 62 percent since 1973, with both figures adjusted for inflation.

But scores on college entrance examinations - the Scholastic Aptitude Test and the American College Test - have shown only modest increases and dropout rates are up, the group said in its ″Report Card on American Education.″

″I know it’s fashionable to talk about under investment in education, but as our study confirms, we’ve invested and invested heavily in education,″ said Samuel Brunelli, director of the council and president of The ALEC Foundation. ″This investment has not paid off in terms of student achievement.″

ALEC is a nationwide organization of some 2,700 state lawmakers, about two- third of whom are Republicans.

The study showed that 10 states, most of them in the Midwest, lead the nation in all measures of student performance, including mathematics achievement test results, graduation rates and scores on the SAT and ACT. The 10 states are Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and South Dakota. The study said also that all of the states, except Wisconsin, are far from the top ranks in per-pupil expenditures.

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