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Should more or less money be put towards funding for schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 318 times Debate No: 83268
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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Topic: Should the government spend more or less on education?
My Stance: Should spend MORE
In today's world, there is much debate over how much should be put towards the children of America. Politics has covered many bases with this issue, and have implanted more and less funding in many places.
However, in this debate, let's add another to the mix about whether school's should get more or less for the lives of tomorrow.


Thank you, and I accept this challenge.
I will be arguing on the CON side, affirming that education spending should not be increased.

Can we agree that the actor who spends this money is the United States Federal Government?
Debate Round No. 1


(I guess...)
First Argument:
In a growing society, new technological advances are being released, along with these new technologies, comes people who control them. The people who invent them. the people who solve the problems they create. Later On, who will be the people to take over these roles? Today's children of course! This is why we need to put forward money towards their education. And as Plato stated: "The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life."

If we do not put money in today's education, then schools don't have the resources to make schools enjoyable. What happens when a kid doesn't want to go to his school? The child will not pay attention as much as they should. Schools need to be a more positive environment for children to learn about what they need to. Consider it lucky that children don't get beat with paddles anymore! How are our children supposed to grow in a negative environment.

Global Warming is a long-lasting problem. How is the future supposed to fix that? How about terrorism, will we continue to be struck down, or will tomorrow's people create brighter future. All of these questions remain unanswered until we can finally decide once and for all, will we give the soil to plant the seeds.


We should weigh this debate on a utilitarian scale, so whichever side can prove benefit to more people should win.

I support my view with two main arguments.
Firstly, that the problem of education won't be solved by merely throwing money at it.
Secondly, that spending money produces harmful tradeoffs.

Firstly, throwing money at a problem won't solve it.
The Daily Journal reports in 2014 ( that if the quality of schools in New Jersey was determined by just the amount of funding that goes into it, they would be just as good as Harvard. That same article references a school that costs 30,485 dollars in government money to educate just one child, making it a higher cost than some Ivy League universities. However, this school reported only 51% high school graduation rates, leaving almost half of the students without a high school diploma and costing local taxpayers over 1 million dollars. This shows that just because a school is getting more money does not mean that the students will become more successful.

My second argument is that increasing education funding creates too many negative tradeoffs and is disadvantageous. If there were to be a spike in education funding, this money could come from taxpayers. However, as shown in the previous Daily Journal article, the money did not work and the taxpayers wasted over a million dollars. But let's examine the more likely source of funding- government mandatory spending. The Congressional Research Service finds that the Pay-As-You-Go Act, codified in 2011, mandates that spending authorized by legislation (which education falls under) must be paid under this federal statute. Given an increase in spending, the President must mandate sequestration, or cutting of other programs, in order to pay for the new program, education in this case. Under Pay-As-You-Go, the Office of Management and Budget furthers that under Pay-as-You-Go, only four very specific programs are eligible for budget cuts. The two largest of these programs are Medicare and agricultural subsidies.

The harms of removing Medicare are highly alarming. This is because Medicare provides health care to over one in seven Americans. Roxanne Andrews of HCUP determined that Medicare provides for 47% of aggregate hospital costs; this means that the loss of this funding would lead to hospital bankruptcy. Because of this, the National Bureau of Economic Research concludes that for every percent decrease in Medicare, there is a .3% increase in mortality. (

The significance of sequestering agricultural subsidies are even worse. Agricultural subsidies are a form of payment to farmers in the United States. The government gives them in order to reduce the global price of food. This makes sense, because if the farmer has a supplemental source of income, he/she will sell his/her crops at a lower price. Timothy Wise finds that an absence of of agricultural subsidies would cut agricultural production by 29 percent and exports would decrease by 41%, leading to a 13% increase in food prices across the globe. ( Quinn Bowman of Newshour affirms this increase in food prices would lead to 50 million people worldwide being thrown into extreme poverty because all of the family's money would be needed to be spent on food, and Mark Micheli finds this causes 208 million people to be pushed to the brink of starvation.,

Thus, the United States Federal Government should not be spending money to improve education because the negative impacts would outweigh the positives. Not only does putting more money into education not work at all, it creates too many problems across the globe.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


Now, reading through your claim, I am inmpressed. Until I did some research of my own. Research that hits a heavy blow. As one article says... "It’s become almost conventional wisdom that throwing more money at public education doesn’t produce results. But what if conventional wisdom is wrong?" ~ Noah Smith.

As stated in Smith's article, your example about New Jersey, isn't all that accurate. Since, to live in New Jersey, you are most likely an upper-income resident, since the taxes and price to live there is terrible. The authors of a 1955-1985 study have found one exception. Many people ing in the New England area of the U.S do not really have an beneficial outcome of more spending. Poor children and schools in rural communities receive very high benefits from this though. "Here’s the hitch: The authors find that the benefits of increased spending are much stronger for poor kids than for wealthier ones." ~Again Noah Smith. I hope you agree this shows your New Jersey example, a bit innaccurate.

Now, there are some benefits to the upper-income families for this though. The poor people that are being educated, are, statistically speaking, more likely to get better jobs. 7.25% likely in fact. It doesn't sound like much, but what I mean is that this is how much their wages increasewhen we spend more money on them. Then, with better jobs, you investors have better workers. People have better houseworkers. Better mechanics! All-in-all, a better society! You're probably saying "A better society just because we get better gardeners and investors are happy. Pssh. please!" Well, in unsafe towns and cities. Detroit. Chicago. Even some parts of Atlanta. Do you really enjoy walking though the dirty neighborhoods, possible getting mugged? Well, we could just put more money into a police force tohandle it. Or we could stop it before it happens. Lance Lochner and Enrico Morreti found in their study, which is nt the one I was talking about earlier, that a well-educated population, is a wll-socialized population. With those 7.25% higher wages, the incentive for crime is reduced, not abolished, but definitely reduced.

Now, needing to a correct a minor mistake arlier, are you ready for that BIG study? Well here it is. A few economists and other folk took a look at students in 1955-1985, when courts ordered more education spending. then they monitored their progress through 2011. The results? A long-term valuable study, that shows spending works.
-10% education spending increase
7.25% Higher Wages
.27 more years of school
Extremely low chance of falling into poverty.

Back to when I said, .27 more years of chol. Yes, high school dropouts exist. I don't think we can ever get rid of that unless we abolish dropping out, which I do not support. But this is still more time they spend in school! Still more learning! So in conclusion of my second argument, we should make it rain for schools.

"Education is our passport to the future, for tommorow belongs to people who prepare for it today" ~Malcom X



Let's respond to my opponent's argument about how education is needed to raise the children of today to become the innovators of tomorrow. I offer the following responses.

Firstly, due to an increased emphasis on standardized tests, schools are putting more emphasis on "teaching to the test" rather than important subjects. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing ( entire subjects may be dropped from curriculum such as social studies and science, because standardized tests mandated under the No Child Left Behind act only contain mathematics and reading comprehension. This omits from the curriculum many important skills, such as writing a research paper or conducting a lab report, both of which are very important if the world wants to solve global warming, as my opponent stated, or any other problem that needs to be solved. But we have to get to the root cause of this narrowed curriculum. What was the cause of the aforementioned harms? The answer is more funding into education. It was the increased funding plans dictated in No Child Left Behind that caused schools to focus so much on standardized testing and to get rid of more important subjects. This is another empirical example of increased funding harming education.

Secondly, let's go into a specific part of this argument. My opponent argued that funding is necessary to keep the students' interest in school and without it, the children would get bored and "not pay attention as much as they should". This ties back into the standardized test point, because Michael Hout and Stuart Elliott's book "Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education" states the opposite of my opponent's point. They found that when teachers have an obligation or incentive to improve their students' standardized test scores, they use different teaching methods that are disadvantageous to students. They used different strategies such as increased lecturing and directing, which decreased the students' interest and "willingness to undertake difficult academic challenges". It's actually the increase in funding that harms education, not it's lack thereof.

Now let's take a look at my opponent's response to my arguments.
My opponent says that spending increases actually benefit the poor more than the rich area of New Jersey. However, Kenneth Wesson of the National Association for the Education of Young Children says otherwise. He finds that there is socio-economic discrimination in education and that the poor aren't benefited as much as the rich.

Then my opponent says that that we could put more money into a better police force, and crimes would be decreased. However, increasing police funding is not part of our topic, as we are discussing whether education funding should be increased.

Finally my opponent declares that in a study beginning in 1955, there have been beneficial impacts of increased education funding. David Klein of California State University Northridge actually explains that in 1955, The College Entrance Examination Board established the Commission on Mathematics. This increased the quality of mathematics classes in all schools across the nation. ( This is significant because PBS finds that there has been a high rise in the amount of jobs that are considered "technical", or requiring advanced technology. The same source finds math education is a good way to improve the quality of those jobs (

Then, even if you don't believe a word I said throughout this argument, my opponent has not responded to my tradeoff argument. Thus, all my impacts still stand and have weight in this round. Because we are weighing this debate on a utilitarian framework and my opponent has not responded to this, we have to look to which side can benefit more people. Even if you think that an increase in spending would benefit every single student in the nation, you're still not benefiting as many people as the CON side. Through this argument, I prove that by not increasing education funding, mortality is being prevented in the nation, and even greater, this is preventing 50 million people from going into extreme poverty and over 200 million people being pushed near starvation.

Because I can prove benefit to more people, I should be winning this round.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3



Well. Here we are at the grand finale. Now, to tie up a few loose ends.

-When I was talking about the police, it was a choice. And in recent years law enforcement has not been popular. Most would not want to hire more.

-When did this debate a debate on standardized testing? I'd prefer to leave that for another day. I see your point, but, when all is fair, I have to say that Congress and the President have caused this a long with school boards. When new people work here, (hint. hint. the people we educate today) this may not still be a thing.

-In this debate, I am not helping everyone in the country. There are still going to be drop-outs. Still going to be kids unexcited to learn, there are still going to be boring teachers.

-Now, with your debate about disadvantaging learning tactics, many teachers use differnet tactics, and we cannot judge them if that is how they roll. Trust me, my 6th grade math teacher could have used better styles.

-Also, even if some teachers can have a boring style (we have ALL been there), there are still good teachers, and with a higher amount of funding, we can get past all this standardized badness. There is so much clamor and outcry over ending this reign of terror, and with a new president coming into office next year, we may have a change rolling around in the wind.

-The big issue, less funding means no money for art and music classes, which are desperately needed. My school gets a good amount of funding, we have Photography, 3-D Art, 2-D Art, Marine Biology, Gifted, Yearbook, along with much more. A higher funding provides more oppurtunities for students to find what they love. We even pay for a site for researching careers, and schools.

In all conclusion, we need to spend more on education to give children a better enviroment in. Standardized testing is a HUGE downside towards the education of our kids, I feel we'll get passed it. Reduced crime, a brighter future, less poverty, and fewer drop-outs, and ways to find what to grasp for. All of this together is an easy incentive to want more money for our schools. Thank you for taking your time to read this, and zi'll leave you with a final thought; "Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them today, leaves an impression." ~Dr. Haim Ginott


kylemoto forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by CheetoGo2015 10 months ago

This is my source for the second round.
Also, the final round will just be to tie up some loose ends, and conclude. Not bring circumstantial evidence that takes a while to elaborate.
Posted by KingofEverything 10 months ago
I am with Pro here. When I was in Middle School last year, the budget went WAY downhill. Doors weren't stable and needed to be replaced, so some of their stall doors were removed, the food went from hood to awful somehow, and their microphones sucked during the Talent Show. There were other things but I forgot them. Basically, without a good budget, the privacy can be ruined and the kids can't enjoy themselves as much. 8th grade was the year where most people were moaning about school, and that's saying something.
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