If there existed a company that for nearly half a century had failed to improve upon its product, had watched as other companies passed it by in its ability to be innovative, and all the while had more than tripled its overhead costs, it’s unlikely that company would be in business much longer. And let’s imagine for a moment that the company, adding insult to injury, was planning to go back to its shareholders to request yet more capital, expecting to be granted the new money because this time—without any changes to their business model—something would be different.

Most Americans would balk at the idea of investing in such a company. Yet year after year, the business of educating our nation’s children operates in this way. Despite little if any return on investment for the nearly $2 trillion the American people have “invested” in government education over the past half century, the Obama Administration plans to compound this failure in its FY 2012 budget.

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