May 15, 2008

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Publisher's Note: Education is the key
By†Jody Reese

More than a sports arena, low taxes, an advertising slogan or even weather, a great public education system ó aided by a great college system ó is key to growing a stateís economy.

New Hampshire has long enjoyed some of the nationís best high school test scores, but those numbers include the stateís numerous private schools. Take those private school kids away and New Hampshire doesnít do as well. New Hampshire still has an advantage over other states in that its student base comes from wealthier families. When wealthy towns are stripped out of the numbers, the education system doesnít look as strong. And youíre only as strong as your weakest link.

No, New Hampshire hasnít found a way to spend less and produce superior students. Just like every other state, New Hampshire faces serious challenges in keeping kids in school and moving those at-risk kids on to college or a vocation. Just look at Manchester, which has about 20 failing schools as judged by the federal governmentís No Child Left Behind legislation.

In Manchester and Nashua (and many other towns), the discussion by most of our elected officials hasnít been about how can we improve our schools, but about how can we spend less on them. The argument is that weíre already over-taxed and schools can do more with less.

While itís true (as I argued last week) that government does a poor job of explaining what it does and why and could use a serious dose of managerial reforms, that doesnít mean we need less government, and, particularly in this case, less school funding. We need better schools. And surely itís clear that less money wonít lead to a better education system.

Looking at the issue of funding, New Hampshire communities now spend about $10,304 per pupil per year on their public schools, some more, some less. Thatís far less than New York, which spends almost $15,000 per pupil per year.

In Manchester this year, the school district spent about $147.3 million, or about $8,290 per kid (half what New York spends). That works out to between $40 and $45 a day or about $6 an hour to educate a kid.

For $6 per hour Manchester keeps kids off the streets for most of the day and allows parents to work. That alone is worth the $6 per hour.

Of course we donít pay to have kids housed for the day, so we can all go out and work. We expect our kids to be educated too for that $6 an hour. Those with kids see the value in that. A good education leads to college and/or a well-paying job.

Other than feeling good about ourselves, what good does that do a community?

A good school system, including colleges, is the engine to any economic growth because it provides the fuel: an educated workforce. Try as it might, business canít function without a skilled workforce.

How can we talk about a knowledge-based economy, when we cut funding to the place where knowledge is dispensed?


5/8/2008 Show me the value

5/1/2008 Assault on your freedom
4/24/2008 Spring means cleaning up
4/17/2008 Taxes and local spending
4/10/2008 Education? Back of the bus
4/3/2008 Worse to good
3/27/2008 Road to Concord
3/20/2008 2008 Best of
3/13/2008 Alderman hooked on cash
3/6/2008 America's promise
2/28/2008 The field clears
2/21/2008 Tax growth
2/14/2008 Opportunity for whom?
2/7/2008 Who's the boss?
1/31/2008 An unfair cost
1/24/2008 Bank locally
1/17/2008 It wasn't race, it was the race
1/10/2008 School funding is still an issue
1/3/2008 Predictions for 2008
12/27/2007 My best and worst of 2007
12/20/2007 Not Edwards
12/13/2007 Sometimes it's best to hold the story
12/6/2007 A reckoning with reality
11/29/2007 Cure for weak reporting
11/22/2007 Good Pork
11/15/2007 NH, land of wine opportunity
11/8/2007 An extreme gift
11/1/2007 Odd state out
10/25/2007 Smart growth
10/18/2007 School debate
10/11/2007 Art, art ó what is it good for?
10/04/2007 Investing for the long haul
9/27/2007 The Frankensteined museum
9/20/2007 Publisher's Note
9/13/2007 Glendified weekend
9/6/2007 Change is good
8/30/2007 Live toll free or die trying
8/23/2007 Stress made me steal
8/16/2007 Malls do a town good?
8/9/2007 Politics and policy
8/2/2007 Ban needs state enforcement
7/26/2007 We need more under-30s
7/19/2007 Health care tune-up
7/12/2007 Save our parks
7/5/2007 Mortgage re-regulation
6/28/2007 Downtown troubles?
6/21/2007 Kid coddlers
6/14/2007 Illegals needed
6/7/2007 Be the Burlington
5/31/2007 Still number one?
5/24/2007 Time for Target to give
5/17/2007 Rail stop
5/10/2007 Short-changing the future
5/3/2007 Not just cheaper, more efficient
4/26/2007 Where is our scotch?
4/19/2007 School leadership crisis
4/12/2007 Restricting free-dumb
4/5/2007 Property tax relief
3/29/2007 Manchester: A West advantages
3/29/2007 Nashua: Beach weather ó for dogs
3/29/2007 Concord: Boston's loss, Concord's gain
3/22/2007 Manchester: Mortgages come due
3/22/2007 Nashua: Camping and comic strips
3/22/2007 Concord: Best show in town
3/15/2007 Manchester: Biggest Best Of
3/15/2007 Nashua: The envelope please
3/15/2007 Concord: Simply the best
3/8/2007 Manchester: NH spectacle
3/8/2007 Nashua: The local connection
3/8/2007 Concord: Not married to the idea
3/1/2007 Manchester: Death by a thousand tickets
3/1/2007 Nashua: Looking at glass
3/1/2007 Concord: Does anyone care anymore?
2/22/2007 Manchester: Penny wise, pound foolish
2/22/2007 Nashua: The ultimate reality show
2/22/2007 Concord: Ask anything
2/15/2007 Manchester: To be a successful satellite
2/15/2007 Nashua: The bus too the future
2/15/2007 Concord: Education is non-partisan
2/8/2007 Manchester: In praise of compromise
2/8/2007 Nashua: Will you be my Valentine?
2/8/2007 Concord: The economy or art
2/1/2007 Manchester: Just fake it
2/1/2007 Nashua: A lesson from Walter
2/1/2007 Concord: Trash talking
1/25/2007 Manchester: Sticking with our bottleneck
1/25/2007 Nashua: How dry I was
1/25/2007 Concord: From pot to throw pillows
1/18/2007 Manchester: Renters have a role
1/18/2007 Nashua: Auctions and death
1/18/2007 Concord: The automobile basket
1/11/2007 Manchester: Rail: Look ahead,not back
1/11/2007 Nashua: Easier 80 years ago
1/11/2007 Concord: Let it snow please
1/4/2007 Time for a raise
1/4/2007 Nashua: Five things revisited
1/4/2007 Concord: Keeping an eye on crime
12/28/2006 In the year 2007
12/28/2006 Nashua: My trashy neighborhood
12/28/2006 Concord: 2007 resolutions
12/21/2006 Keeping an eye on crime
12/21/2006 Nashua: Not a curse, a blessing
12/21/2006 Concord: Keep those doors open
12/14/2006 Manchester: Great town in need of TLC
12/14/2006 Nashua: Big world, small town
12/14/2006 Concord: The real reason for the season
12/07/2006 Manchester: War on bars
12/07/2006 Nashua: 'Monkey Day' other school news
12/07/2006 Concord: A special time of year
11/30/2006 Manchester: Live from the BMA!
11/30/2006 Nashua: The movie biz returns
11/30/2006 Concord: A little holiday sentiment
11/23/2006 Manchester: The Manchester oppressed
11/23/2006 Nashua: I miss the BG slaughter
11/23/2006 Concord: Help patch the leaky boat
11/16/2006 Manchester: Straight tickets have got to go
11/16/2006 Nashua: Songs in the funeral parlor
11/16/2006 Concord: The art of politics
11/9/2006 Manchester: Crackdown on slumloards needed
11/9/2006 Nashua: new life in the old stroll
11/9/2006 Concord: Let's get to work
11/2/2006 Manchester: Less mud, more action
11/2/2006 Nashua: Bigger and better and more!
11/2/2006 Concord: Red River takes a dive
10/26/2006 Manchester: Refocus priorities
10/26/2006 Nashua: The color of pennies
10/26/2006 Concord: refocus priorities
10/19/2006 Manchester: Still a safe city
10/19/2006 Nashua: Home field advantage
10/19/2006 Concord: A little bit of everything
10/12/2006 Manchester: Stalled in city government
10/12/2006 Nashua: Closed for remodeling
10/12/2006 Concord: Courting more space
10/05/2006 Manchester: Guinta squashes Saturday parking fees
10/05/2006 Nashua: Still a good idea
10/05/2006 Concord: Concord's new paper
09/28/2006 Manchester: Time for airport effiency
09/28/2006 Nashua: Nashua's symphonic gem
09/28/2006 Concord: Nobody puts Baby in the corner
09/21/2006 Manchester: The low-income housing puzzle
09/21/2006 Nashua: Stop studying, start paving
09/21/2006 Concord: Road to the future
09/14/2006 Manchester: Glendi!
09/14/2006 Nashua: The art of walking
09/14/2006 Concord: Time to shine
09/07/2006 Manchester: The idea deficit
09/07/2006 Nashua: Fine art and Popeye
09/07/2006 Concord: Of diners and destinies
08/31/2006 Manchester: The blueies fumble
08/31/2006 Nashua: Cheap eats and me
08/31/2006 Concord: Cheap eats everywhere
08/24/2006 Manchester: This isn't Monopoly
08/24/2006 Nashua: Who's to judge? Me!
08/24/2006 Concord: Around Concord
08/17/2006 Manchester: Getting anchored
08/17/2006 Nashua: The art of rememberance
08/17/2006 Concord: The Cap center moves forward
08/10/2006 Manchester: Stopping the wave
08/10/2006 Nashua: Local heroes
08/10/2006 Concord: Make downtown a priority
08/03/2006 Manchester: Transport for the long-haul
08/03/2006 Nashua: Peeking at Peacock
08/03/2006 Concord: Primary myths
07/27/2006 Manchester: All smoke, no fire
07/27/2006 Nashua: The city with the cool market
07/27/2006 Concord: You ain't heard nothin yet
07/20/2006 Manchester: State should help city
07/20/2006 Nashua: Taking it outside
07/20/2006 Concord: A forum worth attending
07/13/2006 Manchester: The refugee puzzle
07/13/2006 Nashua: When chemicals made us strong
07/13/2006 Concord: Getting people downtown
07/06/2006 Manchester: Sherriff doesn't like competition
07/06/2006 Nashua: The ghost of Mabel
07/06/2006 Concord: The return of the DOT
06/29/2006 Manchester: Don't hold your breath
06/29/2006 Nashua: To your health, sort of
06/29/2006 Concord: Bright lights, big city
06/22/2006 Manchester: Priming the pump
06/22/2006 Nashua: The right guy
06/22/2006 Concord: Consideration
06/15/2006 Manchester: Stag what?
06/15/2006 Nashua: Get out of town!
06/15/2006 Concord: Stay the course
06/08/2006 Manchester: Guinta's political game
06/08/2006 Nashua: No backyard barbeque
06/8/2006 Concord: We seek the Grail
06/01/2006 Manchester: Throwaway society
06/01/2006 Nashua: We are what we eat
06/01/2006 Concord: Moving in the right direction
05/25/2006 Manchester: The past is the future
05/25/2006 Nashua: Think Hippo, then flush
05/25/2006 Concord: Get on the train and ride
05/18/2006 Manchester: A tale of two cities
05/18/2006 Nashua: Teachable moments
05/18/2006 Aspell the man for the job
05/11/2006 Manchester: 2007 budget for 2007 prices
05/11/2006 Nashua: Increasingly vacant city
05/11/2006 Concord: Concord's musical economy
05/04/2006 Manchester: The show must go on
05/04/2006 Nashua: Don't miss your cue
05/04/2006 Concord: Support your local station
04/27/2006 Manchester: Why I buckle my seatbelt
04/27/2006 Nashua: A global black eye
04/27/2006 Concord: The time has come
04/20/2006 Manchester: Budget bull
04/20/2006 Nashua:Hunting white elephants
04/20/2006 Concord: Rallying for Red River
04/13/2006 Manchester: Parking wise, pound foolish
04/13/2006 Nashua: Roomates
04/13/2006 Concord: You have to want it
04/06/2006 Manchester: Detroit by comparison?
04/06/2006 Nashua: Changing the flow
04/06/2006 Concord: Time and the river
03/30/2006 Manchester: Calling planet Earth
03/30/2006 Nashua: Where is the leadership?
03/30/2006 Concord: Legislation that matters
03/23/2006 Manchester: Beyond city government
03/23/2006 Nashua: Short-sighted city
03/23/2006 Concord: Creating Community
03/16/2006 Growth does not equal crime
03/16/2006 Not just for business
03/16/2006 Concord: Stop the signs
03/09/2006 Manchester: The future is now
03/09/2006 Nashua: The bus to tomorrow
03/09/2006 Concord: Fat free or die
03/02/2006 Manchester: Movies matter
03/02/2006 Nashua: City without theaters
03/02/2006 Concord: Thinking big
02/23/2006 Manchester: Parking problems
02/23/2006 Nashua: A substitute for Benson's
02/23/2006 Concord: Put parking to rest

02/16/2006 Manchester: Having it both ways
02/16/2006 Nashua: The Nashua arts puzzle

02/16/2006 Concord: Future in beer
02/09/2006 Manchester: Best of us
02/09/2006 Nashua: Put your best vote forward
02/09/2006 Concord: Concord shows off
02/02/2006 Manchester: Chain†reactions
02/02/2006 Nashua: We wuz robbed
02/02/2006 Concord: Looking Back
01/26/2006 Manchester: City government gets wackier
01/26/2006 Nashua: Hometown Pride
01/26/2006 Concord: Growing Pains
01/19/2006 Concord Back to Work
01/19/2006 Nashua: Message in a bottle
01/19/2006 Manchester: The Living City
01/12/2006 Welcome to the Flea
01/05/2006 Hippo Manchester ó Five Years Later
Aloha, Uncle Gus

A crucial stage
A taxing mistake
A Mission For InTown
A Signature Space
Art Is News Here

A Work In Progress
Ante Up For Plows
Bars are wrong UL target
Beating the downtown blues
City Needs To Get Tough
City noise tax
Crime - Reality vs. Perception
Daily Buys Weeklies
Down to the wire
Elements of a downtown
Fat And Good Planning
Garrity's Plan A Step Back
Giving MTBE a free ride
Going For The Money

Go Glendi!
Government Regulations The Problem
Guintaís work pays off
Guintaís work pays off (II)
Happy yuppies, strong city
Improve The City From The Center
I
t's Just Good Business
Keep those teens busy
Killing the goose
Long Term Vision
Looking Down The Road
Make It An Event
McQuaid's War & Other News
Name that tune
Not Just An Alternative
Old Building Makeover
One Jump Closer
Outside Might Be Best

Party politics
Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish

Positive QOLs: food, trains
Preach, Don't Campaign
Private Places
Read it here first
Readin', Ritin', Paying Up
Retiring Teachers
Say No To Cronyism
Scrooge, Inc.
Solution to parking woes
Step Aside, Joe
Surviving The Chains

Tax cap kills the future
The Awards Go To
The business of clubs
The City's Snow Job

The perils of parking
The real election issues

The Really Big Story
The Silly Liquor Law
The truth about the bars
The Value Of Local Money
The Voting Process
The ULís bully tactics
This Week's Note
Timing Is Everything

To Live In A City Is To Park In It
Tomorrow's Landmarks
Trick-Or-Treat At Night
Turkeys, Parking, Taxes, Chandler
Under-40 Dynamos
Voting Matters
What about Theater?
What makes a marriage