Buildings don’t teach kids

Patrick Gibbons

By Patrick R. Gibbons

Nevada spends over $10,000 per student in K-12 education, but policymakers and policy wonks don’t want to talk about ALL the money we spend – in fact they want to ignore what we spend building and maintaining schools.

Nevada’s capital outlays and construction costs per student are the 3rd highest in the country. We spend almost twice as much per pupil on building new schools than does the average state. Some say we have to spend so much because we grow so fast. But look at Arizona, the second fastest growing state in the country, they spend considerably less than we do.

Something has gone terribly wrong in Nevada. If Nevada was as efficient as Arizona, we’d save between $320 and $350 million a year on capital outlays. That money could go back to taxpayers or back to the classroom.

Since buildings don’t teach kids, why are we spending so much on them?