From 1961-2005, federal and state education spending per pupil grew 247 percent after adjusting for inflation. That is massive growth.
To make a comparison, gas prices only increased 69 percent over that same period. When you include the last three years of rapidly rising gas prices, the growth is still a "diminutive" 135 percent.
Even though millions of Americans are feeling the pinch at the pump, the cost of gas is still not rising as fast as the cost of public schools. Gas would have to be $6.18 a gallon today to represent the same drastic levels of price increases that American education has seen over the last 47 years.
Maybe we should start looking toward alternative methods for improving education that don't require taxpayers to reduce their standard of living any further.
*Note using per-pupil spending data that includes capital expenditures and school debt the inflation adjusted increase in per-pupil spending from 1961-2007 is 293 percent. At that growth gas would cost us $7.34 a gallon.