How would you spend 71 billion dollars?

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Congress recently approved more than $71 billion for education for the fiscal year ending September of 2012. Of course, hundreds of millions are set aside for Race to the Top and other useless organizations like Teach for America.

I did some quick math and learned that if the government simply divided the money equally by the number of public school students, it would mean schools would have roughly $1,400 per student. Granted, this isn’t a huge amount, but if we knew there would be at least this much yearly, imagine what schools could do to improve education.

Just spitballing, my first thought was to put an iPad, loaded with powerful applications, in the hands of every student. These would last a long time, so in subsequent years, the $1,400 per student could go for other useful education materials.

Keep in mind, this is in addition to the millions districts get each year from tax dollars and existing government funds.

The way this gigantic pile of cash is currently dispersed, though, most of the nearly 50 million K-12 public school students are left penniless.

So, how would you spend 71 billions dollars?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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