• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Cartel: Where Are Our Education Dollars Going?

    The Cartel, a searing education documentary, opens nationwide on Wednesday. The film, by director Bob Bowden, exposes where our multiplying education tax dollars are going. Spoiler alert: In too many instances, they aren’t going toward teaching children.

    Bowden focuses on New Jersey, a state that spends over $17,000 per student annually. A few simple calculations show the real picture: Instead of being chronically under-funded, as union advocates claim, each classroom in the state costs the taxpayer between $300,000 and almost $450,000 annually. But the reality is that charter schools, such as the Robert Treat Academy in Newark, are far outperforming district schools on state tests—and doing it for 60 cents on the dollar.

    So where does all that money go? According to The Cartel, the remainder of the money goes to “administration,” a term that covers everything from custodians who make six-figure salaries to no-show teachers aides to salaries for fictitious “teacher leaders.” The film shows education unions as being more concerned about “lining their pockets” than about a quality education for every child. One particularly frustrating segment features New Jersey teacher union head Joyce Powell asserting that 99.97 percent of teachers are doing a great job because only 0.03 percent of tenured teachers are removed from the classroom.

    The film’s message? Until we bring reform and accountability to the public school system, despite the objections of the unions, too much of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars will go down a rabbit hole of self-interest and corruption, not toward helping struggling students.

    Inez Feltscher is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to The Cartel: Where Are Our Education Dollars Going?

    1. Pingback: The Cartel: Where Are Our Education Dollars Going? | Big Propaganda

    2. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Cartel: Where Are Our Education Dollars Going? | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    3. Bobbie says:

      The Cartel: Where Are Our Education Dollars Going?” ONLY those accountable who hold themselves unaccountable knows…

      The weakness of mankind is running this country, exemplifying to those that follow!!!!!

    4. Nettie, Phoenix says:

      Solution-Let the neighborhood or parents make the decisions about their children's educations, not the stinkin' federal Government!

    5. Lee Giles, Sedona, A says:

      From what I've seen, all we have to do in Jersey is tell Governor Chris Christie all about it. Problem solved. As far as the rest of the states…good luck.

    6. Myke says:

      LEE GILES I agree with you. I live in Vegas but I love Chris Christie. He is a man who will get things done. And an honest man. Hard to find in politics.

      This has been going on for many many yrs. When I was in school I had few if any teachers who actually cared if you learned anything. They were just putting in their time. I am glad someone is bringing this all out. Should have happened decades ago.

    7. Freddel, Walnut Cree says:

      Money and resources for primary and secondary education are not the problems. Voters and taxpayers are adequately funding and supportive of education. The problem is incompetant personnel, misallocation of resources, and distorted incentives. School boards and principals have to start doing their jobs even if it means altercations with unions. Citizens should support reform. This is a real American tragedy.

    8. Daniel Colgan says:

      Let's not fool ourselves.Teacher unions are primarily concerned with keeping their due paying members with little regard if the kids actually earn their diplomas. Only school choice, be it private or public, will break the stranglehold they have on the educational system. They fear this like the devil fears holy water because they know they'll lose competing for students. Take the time to contact your representatives and demand that the fundamental right to determine education be returned to parents or guardians. The public has looked the other way for too long while the failing government schools continued to send many of those in their charge into society without the necessary educational tools to compete.

    9. Bryan, Federal way, says:

      Not only are we over funding the Union teachers belong to, we are over funding their ability to pay off politicians and campaigns. They are buying voter fraud and purchasing non union protesters. Meanwhile, education is anything but that, education.

    10. Pingback: The Cartel: Where Are Our Education Dollars Going? | The Foundry … | HNL HIP HOP

    11. Pingback: Credit Repair Exposed – What the bureaus are hiding

    12. Pingback: Guaranteed Credit Repair Service

    13. PhillupSpace, Ca. Ho says:

      If Legislators will, as they have demonstrated, will trade away our childrens education/future for Union money, can they be trusted with national security?

    14. PhillupSpace, Ca. Ho says:

      If legislators will, as demonstrated, trade away our childrens education/future quality of life/ earning power and the nations future standing in the world for Union Money and Support for campaigns, can they be trusted with the nations secrets?

    15. Michael Maveal ME says:

      If you really want to solve the problem close down the Federal Dep't. of Educarion. The USDE has a $53 billion dollar budget. That's $1+ billion for each state. Leave that money with the Governor of each state and let him/her solve that particular states problems. The USDE is famous for developing unfunded mandates that are breaking the states backs. The USDE takes the money from the states, skims off 20% for their salaries, and doles the leftover 80% back to the states on a conditional basis – UNFUNDED MANDATES! This is simple economics. Anyone that can manage a household budget can understand this. The problem is that we have ignorant, incompetent politicians, who probably cannot balance their own checkbooks, making decisions on multi-billion dollar budgets under the leadership of a Marzist/Communist wannabe president.

    16. David Risselada Tuls says:

      Its due time that we remind these teachers that our tax dollars pay their salaries and hold them accountable. Even if that means we as parents suddenly decide to drop in and pay the class room a visit for a day or month. Could you imagine that? All Parents showing up at their childrens school on the same day to see what is being taught and how. Knowing the direction this country is going they would probably create another government beurocracy called the National School Security Service, and parents would be treated like potential threats to the well being of our children because the government knows best. Someone in another post hit the nail on the head. This is happening because we let it. Too many wonderful things about our country have been taken for granted. We somewhere along the road forgot that freedom and liberty take responsibility from those who cherish it. We became more concerned with our rights, (some of which aren't even) than our responsibilties as citizens. Obviously this does not apply to everyone, and in fact it is very difficult for a human being to put a principle ahead of self preservation. Unfortunately that is what it takes for a civil society to survive. The trick is finding the right balance where the dangers of facism or communism arent hiding behind the corner.

    17. Pingback: (Parte 1) Documental Acuario Nacional RD

    18. Pingback: Largest Solar Cooking System Saving 7000 Dollars A Month | Latest news on renewable energy and effective utilization

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×