Promises, Promises

Here’s a stunner. Based on the 2008 general fund budget of $526.6 million and a September enrollment of 26,649, the Pittsburgh Public Schools are spending at a rate of $19,796 per student. This in a City where the Schools and the City government created the Pittsburgh Promise, a scholarship program that will guarantee college aid to public school students who graduate with a minimum (2.25 in 2009) grade point average. The corporate and foundation community are being tapped to fund the Promise and have thus far pledged nearly $125 million to the program—a program that is in effect still more, heavy spending on public education in that it represents a bribe to get people to keep their kids in Pittsburgh schools. That is a poor substitute for offering a quality education. Continue