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No Con Left Behind: Time to Rethink Priorities?

A surprising fact about California's spending habits.
By James Daly
Related Tags: Assessment, All Grades
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Credit: Illustration by Hugh D’Andrade

Here's a kick in the head: California spends almost four times as much on incarcerating its prisoners as it does on educating its students. The Golden State spent an average of $7,324 per student in 2002, according to the National Education Association. Meanwhile, the yearly cost per inmate is $28,439, says the state's Department of Corrections. You got a problem with that? Drop a note to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at

James Daly is the former editorial director of Edutopia.

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