More money goes into the US prison system than it does on education

By Genna Ash for

With the growing teacher crisis, Trump’s war on student visas and the college admissions scandal still hitting headlines around the globe, it seems that chaos has disrupted the American education dream.

Experts are closely observing the nation’s academic decline, calling for major reform if the country ever hopes to raise another competitive generation.

But this is likely to require a monumental shift in the nation’s public spending structure, since the US currently spends more on prisons than it does its public schools, with 15 US states spending US$27,000 more per prisoner than they do per student.

While Americans make up just 4.4 percent of the global population, the country is home to almost 25 percent of the world’s imprisoned offenders.

According to an analysis by personal banking site GoBankingRates, California injects US$8.6 billion a year on its prisons, averaging at US$64,642 per inmate. This compares to US$11,495 each Californian student receives, maintaining a huge US$53,147 gap between prison and education spending – the biggest of any US state.

New York comes in with the second-biggest gap, paying US$22,366 per student compared to US$69,355 per inmate.

Connecticut is third with a US$43,201 spending gap between the two, followed by New Jersey in fourth and Rhode Island in fifth, with gaps of US$43,201 and US$43,032 respectively.

Read more here.

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