Bargain education?

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    A reader of this blog (thank you!) brought to my attention a story that ran in yesterday’s Hagerstown newspaper the Herald-Mail, which states that Harford County spends the least amount per student ($8,263 as of fiscal year 2006) of any of the state’s 24 school systems. Bang for our buck? Depends on how you look at it. According to this document on the Harford County School’s proposed $420 million budget for 2008, Harford County ranks 6th in achievement statewide. Harford County schools tout that ranking as quite a feat giving its low per-pupil spending:

    “Among Maryland’s 24 School Districts
    Harford County Public Schools is ranked…
    Lowest in Per Pupil Cost
    Most efficient cost/benefit measure
    Yet, 6th highest in student achievement”

    Hmmm. They don’t give out medals for sixth, do they? I just hope they give good college acceptance letters.

    For more details on how Harford County compares with the rest of the state’s school systems check out www.mdreportcard.org.