October
27th 2008
Money for Sarah Palin’s Wardrobe May Be Better Spent on Remedial Math

Posted under Denver & Education Politics & School Finance

I don’t mind that the president of the Denver teachers union uses her office as a platform to bash someone running for vice president of the United States:

Think about it… [Sarah] Palin’s wardrobe allowance would educate a classroom of 23 students for a year in Colorado. We need to “CHANGE” this!

If she wants to complain about the Republican National Committee spending $150,000 on wardrobe for Palin and her family, that’s certainly the Denver union president’s prerogative. But she at least ought to get her math right. Since I’m still working on simple addition, I trusted one of my friends in the Education Policy Center to run the calculation. So you may have to try this for yourself to verify it.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, the state average for public school operational expenditures in 2006-07 (the most recent data available) was $8,754 per student. Run the calculation, and you’ll see that $150,000 divided by $8,754 is a little more than 17 (17.135, to be precise). So let’s try the joke again:

Think about it… [Sarah] Palin’s wardrobe allowance would educate a classroom of 23 17 students for a year in Colorado. We need to “CHANGE” this!

Of course, this is a silly comparison anyway, since it’s hardly a standard practice for political campaigns representing any party to donate their funds to public school operations. But if a campaign ever decides to do so, a remedial math program might be the first place to start.

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