A recent editorial in the Arizona Daily Star stated that from 2002 to 2008 educational funding increased in Arizona but the graduation rate dropped significantly. Clearly, something is very wrong.
Over that time period, high school graduation rates dropped significantly in 3 states: Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. In Arizona, total spending per student increased from $4,941 to $5,391 (adjusted for inflation). The graduation rate dropped from 74.7 to 70.7.
So, the problem is not money, the problem is how the money is being used. Perhaps Arizona schools are no better than Governor Brewer in identifying proper priorities.
In 2010, the Governor pushed through House Bill 2251 to convert the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum into the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum (yet another history museum). Over seven million dollars of state money are now used to support history museums across the state. Few people visit these museums.
The top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum is the only earth science museum in the state. Operating on a small fraction of the budget for history museums, it actively supports K-12 students and teachers. Students remember their class field trip to this fascinating museum for a lifetime. It inspires the careers of earth scientists and engineers.
Bored students drop out of school, even if they are brilliant. History museums are boring, and do not have economic value. Future scientists and engineers are needed to support a future technology based economy. There is no market for historians. History majors that do manage to stay in school and graduate become food servers, tree trimmers, and sanitation workers. The public funds used to subsidize their education are wasted.