World magazine’s recent back-to-school issue stated that “money can’t buy wisdom.” Education costs money. Lots of it. It takes money to hire good teachers, build and maintain suitable facilities, fund programs for students, and provide curriculum. But this doesn’t mean that more money makes for a better education. World magazine editor Marvin Olasky wrote,
Researchers have found little correlation between spending and educational success. For example, last year the affluent Carmel (Calif.) Unified School District spent almost $16,000 per student, three times more than the middle-class Norris School District, yet the students had similar test scores. Similarly, the Center for Investigative Reporting found that Oakland spent about $3,000 more per student than the demographically similar Moreno Valley Schools. Students in both districts had similar test scores.
The Dallas Morning News reported in January 2011 that while the state of Texas in 2009-10 spent $1,359 less per student than the national average, it still spent a whopping $9,227 per student. Critics of the public school system point out abysmal results of that massive spending. Yet many citizens and policy makers persist in their avowal, or at least in their presumption, that what we need to improve our schools is more money – or at the very minimum no cuts in what we already spend.
No doubt about the fact that I am biased, but I believe that Regents Academy provides the best education available in our corner of East Texas. How much does Regents spend per student? $4,793. Our school is living proof that you don’t need more money for a better education. Instead, you need a better educational philosophy (the legacy and wisdom of classical Christian education), better teachers (committed and capable, but also free to reveal Christ in all things), and a better goal (not turning out better cogs for the higher education machine but turning out better persons). And then when you consider that while Regents spends $4,793 per student, parents actually pay an average of only $3,960 in tuition per student each year, you see that Regents is actually a great bargain. (Tell yourself that when you’re writing your next tuition check!)
“Money can’t buy wisdom.” In fact, money can’t buy any of the most important things in life. As I walk down the halls of our school and see the beautiful faces of our students, and see our compassionate and diligent faculty, and see God being honored as the center of our school, I see gifts from God that can’t be purchased. St. James tells us that wisdom comes from God, “who gives to all liberally and without reproach.”
We thank God for giving us wisdom to educate our children for Him. We thank God for giving us our children as precious gifts. We ask that He would help us to be good stewards of His gifts.