The federal government spent $45.7
billion on elementary and secondary education in 2005–2006. This represented
about 8.2% of the overall government spending on P-12 education in our country,
with the rest of the monies coming from state and local sources.
The estimated P-12 public school enrollment for that same year was 48.7 million
children. Add in about 5 million private
school children and another 1.1 million
homeschooled children and we have an approximate total of 54.8 million students. Using
these numbers, we can calculate that currently the federal
government spends about $834 per school-age child.
Even knowing that many families could afford a better computer,
what if the federal government bought a $100 (or so) laptop for every child in
America? What would our schools be like? What would our children’s lives be like?