Just because the spending comes from an education budget does not mean that it will be spent on educating anyone.Spending any money on education isn't waist full.
Tudamorf is absolutely correct here in what he is saying.
Of course he is not saying where the wasted money, that portion not educating anyone, is being spent. I think we can all agree that money spent on education, but not educating anyone is waste.
Mage, as someone who at least has experience with education, you must agree that over $300,000 per year per classroom is a lot of money. And you must also agree that the expense of the teacher is a fraction of that. Teachers in California start off at around $35K per year, topping out around the $55K mark. Even if we factor in payroll overhead costs, and over estimate salary, let us just grant an average of $50K per teacher per year. That leaves over $250,000 per classroom per year that is being spent on other things other than teachers. Where is that money going? Principals are in the over $100K area, $125Kish for one with a PhD. But you only have one or two of those per school.
Where is the rest of the money going?
Some of it, of course, IS going to mainstreaming. Or even special needs schools. While special education is very much more expensive than regular education, I still don't think it accounts for the larger percentage of that $11K per student. Where is it going?
The percentage of diagnosed autistic children alone is increasing, and we are paying for their education publically, for example. The latest number is close to 1 in 110 children. I don't think we know if this is due to increasing numbers per se, or increased awareness and diagnosis tools. If you have spent any time at a special needs school, compared to a normal school, they are clearly inefficient. I still don't think that they are the lionshare of the larger percentage of 'waste'.