By Ian C. Beck ’12
There are more benefits from going to a private school than one might think: going to Brophy protects students from the terrible state funding per student.
Arizona ranks 47th in the nation in per student funding, according to the U.S. Census of 2006-2007.
This report shows that Arizona spends $7,196 on each student per year. That is nearly $2,500 below the national average of $9,666.
Only Tennessee, Indiana and Utah rank below Arizona on the list.
Along with this report, the Education Week “Arizona Spending Indicators” from 2005 show Arizona to be 48th in the country with $6,232 per student.
The report also gives a grade to the state average in per student spending, and Arizona received a D for their efforts that put them $2,741 behind the U.S. national average.
Another more recent U.S. Census Bureau report from May 2007 reports Arizona is even lower than that, ranking them 49th, just ahead of Utah in terms of spending per student.
These reports are troubling news.
The fact that Arizona is so poor in education funding is reflected in a December 2009 report from U.S. News and World Report that ranked the country’s top 100 high schools.
Arizona has just two schools on the list: BASIS Tucson (9th) and University High School (21st). Schools were ranked in order of the college readiness percentage decided on by the list’s creators.
Of the 436,759 people under the age of 18 in the state of Arizona, 1,359 students attend a nationally ranked school.
These enrollment statistics are from the University High Web site and GreatSchools.net.
Brophy’s tuition for the 2009-2010 school year is listed as $12,000, according to Brophy’s Web site.
Spending almost twice as much as Arizona does per student, Brophy is a safe haven from the harsh educational landscape of Arizona.
Test scores from the past year support the fact that Brophy is clearly a leg above Arizona’s public high schools.
SAT and ACT scores from 2009 show that Arizona is higher than the national average in all test categories despite their low funding. In the Critical Reading, Math and Writing categories of the SAT, Arizona averages eight points higher that the nation’s average. On the ACT, Arizona’s scores average 0.8 points higher.
Brophy, on the other hand, stands above the national average by a much wider margin, eclipsing the national average by an average of 83 points on the SAT and just more than five points on the ACT tests.
Our education here is far beyond what we would receive at public schools across the state. It is up to the students to live up to those expectations and make the most of the positive learning environment they have been provided by attending Brophy.
And it is up to our state leaders to pull the public school funding from the bottom of the barrel.
Arizona students already surpass national testing averages despite such low funding. Imagine what they could do with even average dollar totals per student.
Those are some statistics worth thinking about.