How to fix college finances?

One Pomona College professor suggests eliminating the faculty, then the students, to allow the burgeoning administrative ranks to sort it out. {{ LOL }}



Seems the students, and faculty, are unnecessary burdens on the football and basketball teams. Lets dump all the “educational” stuff, they are all Commies anyway, right? The primary function of colleges is to be a farm system for the NBA and NFL



The education system in the US is an embarrassment. K-12 = joke. Publicly funded trade schools = almost non-existent. Higher education = too expensive for most.

I believe the children are our future, don’t teach them well and we’re all effed in the a…


Meanwhile in Missouri we are just now raising teacher minimum pay to $40k.

Maybe we need more teachers and fewer administrators. Maybe research professors should spend more time teaching.

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I don’t think you know what you are talking about. The education system is actually pretty good given the challenges faced.


It varies a lot by state and city to city. A lot of those public schools that you need to test in to are just as good as many fancy private schools.

A school on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in Texas or Florida? Likely pretty bad.



Texas ties school funding to local property taxes. Live in a poor neighborhood, get poor schools. This was not on accident.


As in many states, part of the money comes from local property taxes and part from state. Federal funding is generally under 10% in a normal (e.g., non-pandemic) year.

“To cover their base budgets, districts first use local property tax revenue, and the state pays the balance.”

“School boards generally must set a tax rate of at least $1 per $100 in property value — and most go above that. Depending on the tax rate, wealthier districts have to give up some of their property tax revenue to recapture, and that money goes to poorer districts.”


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I don’t think you know if I know what I’m talking about. Apart from growing up with teachers, going through schooling to be an educator, and working in K-12 schools in multiple states, I probably don’t have much perspective.

Maybe I’m biased seeing a growing number of people who actually believe the Earth is flat. It could be that I’m jaded by a growing number of people who don’t believe climate change is a real thing. Possibly, it’s because diseases are coming back because nitwits refuse vaccinations that have been proven safe and effective.

Overall, the population in the US is getting dumber. Sure, there are lots of reasons why this is happening, a poor educational system is only one piece of the puzzle. If our education system was better, it would help overcome many of the other issues.

If your point is that our education system could be worse, I agree. Maybe you’re comparing our system to third world countries that don’t have the resources we have. Whatever your point, what’s so good about education in the US?

  • Competing with other developed countries in math and science competence? Nope.
  • Providing equal educational opportunities to all citizens? Nope.
  • Attracting high quality candidates into the teaching profession? Nope.
  • Providing public education opportunities for trade skills? Nope.

Well, that’s a start. However, $40,000 is still lower than the average salary in 56% of Missouri counties.

Pay is only one part of the problem. How society values the profession is huge. Teachers in this country commonly hear the phrase, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”. Both pay and status are indicators of educational outcomes.

PS - George Bernard Shaw is a dirtbag.


First, let’s look at one of the big challenges faced by the American education system. We are a very heterogeneous society, a nation of immigrants. Over 88 languages are spoken by students in the Los Angeles school district for example. Immigration is a strength, but it also poses big challenges not faced by more homogeneous societies.

As just one example of how American immigration makes international comparisons of education systems difficult:

“…the United States as a whole ranks eighth among 27 participating OECD countries on the TIMSS math test for fourth-graders. But U.S. Asians would have the second-highest score in the OECD, while the children of Hispanic immigrants would rank 17th…” How to fix college finances? - #9 by eldemonio

To our credit and long-term strength we have a tradition of accepting “huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” Good for the long-term, but over the short-term it lowers school test scores.

Despite these issues we still lead the world in most areas of technology, science, and medicine. Must be doing something right. The world still wants to come to American universities to study. Again, we must be doing something right.

That’s a choice made by Americans. We choose to watch youtube rather than read a book. We prefer to get our news in Facebook soundbites than in those long NYTimes or Economist articles.

Us being intellectually lazy is not the fault of our education system.

I think the American education system is generally pretty good at providing the opportunity to learn. It is up to students and parents to take advantage of those opportunities. If parents don’t discipline their kids to behave in school, is that the fault of the education system? If parents choose football over the math team, should we blame the school system?

I’ve mentioned this before and it is anecdotal but I think broadly true. My kids went to public schools. At each level there were sports teams and there were math and science afterschool clubs. The math and science clubs were disproportionately made up of Asian and Jewish kids. That’s a choice that significantly impacts academic success but is not made by the education system.


That refers to research at research universities where the ability to bring in funds as research grants is highly prized. But that means leading researchers are rarely available as teachers. Instead classes are often taught by graduate students (sometimes with limited English skills) or by adjunct professors who often are under contract with little or no benefits. For those with PhDs who retire, adjunct prof can be a second career.

$40K starting pay for a college graduate is a reasonable start. Its sad to hear that many work for far less. Yes, experienced teachers often with advanced degrees can do much better. But especially schools in rural community with declining population can have trouble recruiting teachers. These are mostly family communities with not much social life for outsiders. Church is often center of the community.

Thanks for the reply.

Agreed, it’s not always an apples-to-apples comparison. Especially if we’re using test scores as the metric to measure the quality of our education system.

Yes, back in 2015. Additionally, the US ranked 5 out of 17 for 8th grade math (TIMSS), and 32 out of 36 for age 15 math (PISA). Instead of cherry-picking data, if you look at the overall report from 2020…things look bleak. Especially when you look at adult numeracy.

Our dominance is eroding. But, for the sake of argument…If you’re assuming that we’re leading in technology, science, and medicine because of our K-12 education system, I’d disagree. The US attracts talent from across the world. Suggesting that our dominance is due to how well we’re educating our citizens K-12 is bonkers.

Who wouldn’t, if they could afford it? People from across the world come to the US for higher education and careers. Often, they’ll have more resources during their education and make more money when they enter their career. Again, that doesn’t speak to how well we’re educating our youth, or how accessible high quality education is to the overall population.

You probably don’t have much experience living or working in lower socio-economic areas.
Not all kids have the same opportunities to learn. Not all kids can choose math club when it’s not offered at their school. Not all kids have the same access to technology in their classrooms. Not all kids sit in small classes with more one-on-one instruction. Not all kids can choose art or music.

Agreed. Us being intellectually incompetent is the fault of our education system. A lot of people buy into conspiracy theories and false information because they can’t think critically, not only because they’re lazy.

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Why? You make a lot of claims about how bad our education system is but present no data, other than these standardized international tests like TIMSS and PISA. As I’ve said, because we are an immigrant nation, we are going to tend to score lower in our K-12 education relative to more homogeneous countries.

You also seem very naive about cultural differences, but it is pretty well known that the Japanese and Taiwanese and South Koreans do a lot of their schooling outside their school system.

How can American K-12 school systems compete internationally when so many students in other countries do additional schooling well after their normal school day is done?

Which is terrible. But the same is true everywhere. Every country has poor people and poor schools. And it has also been always true in America. If you think poor schools are worse now than they were for Black students in the Jim Crow south or the kids of white coal miners in the Appalachia of the 1960s, well that will be an interesting argument to hear.

Perhaps, but where is the data? Let’s assume Americans are dumber today than 50 years ago. Why not blame cable television, social media, the rise in single-parent households, the increase in households where both parents work? Why are you spending so much time on a discussion board instead of reading a book? A generation or two ago, more people lived in smaller towns and neighborhoods where people knew their neighbors and weren’t so afraid of kidnappers and molestors. Kids played outside with other kids in unstructured activities.

A lot of cultural changes over the last 50 years. So why blame the schools? Maybe the problem is that parents aren’t spending enough time with their kids. Or that technology has created so many distractions in social media and electronic gaming that it has compromise kids education.

If you want to blame schools and teachers, go ahead. But you have to make the argument. Just your saying so doesn’t make it so.

Where’s the data?

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I’ll agree that blaming the schools is too simplistic. The Asian and Indian students in our school seem to be doing well even if the “natives” are falling behind. And those students appear to be getting difficult technical/engineering degrees at a higher rate as well. I say this because for a decade or so the over-whelming majority of new-college-grads I see with electrical and computer engineering degrees who apply for positions are Indians and Asians, not “natives”. And a lot of them went to our schools.

The schools have problems, but you cannot lump all the blame on them.


Universal free public education has to be a major asset. Funding it with property tax makes for wide variations in resources. Most have the opportunity to learn. Many do very well.

Expectations are high. A variety of social aspects like poverty, immigration, non-English speaking, cultural differences, uneducated parents–all matter. Asking schools/teachers to close the gap is a heavy lift.


40 k a year works out to 19.23 an hour if they servant only works 40 hours a week.

So no 40k a year is not a reasonable wage for someone who has demonstrated that they can read, write and work independently.

40 k a year is a decent starting wage for a ditch digger or fast food worker. Both can have poor reading and writing skills and need close direct supervision.



Keep in mind that $40K is for 9 months.

Yes, teachers should earn more and most do with experience. Sadly $40K is an increase from what it was.

Education still suffers from the days of “normal” schools when teaching was women’s work. (And social rules were strict. For years one of the few jobs women could have outside the home.)

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Not a 52 week work year, due to summer vacation. Not a 40 hr week either, as I remember my aunt spending a part of every week evening, sitting at the dining table, correcting homework.



No need to insult. I’m medium naive at my worst.

Countries with high performing education systems recognize that education is impacted by much more than just K-12 schools and teachers. They take a comprehensive societal approach to planning, organizing, and executing how they educate the future workforce of their countries. I’m not blaming schools, they’re only part of our floundering education system. Our country lacks a coherent and aligned education system - that is the problem.

High performing countries realize that quality education outcomes require supporting new families, providing child care, ensuring educational equity, among a slew of other important things. For example - many provide maternity and paternity leave because it improves their educational outcomes.

No disrespect intended - Your opinions demonstrate exactly what is wrong with education in the US. Our country doesn’t manage the big picture.

Again, not blaming schools and teachers. Most are doing the best they can to gold plate a turrrd.

Agreed…and, you saying so is no more effective than mine.

Here’s 30 years of research that’s helped form my opinion.