State Spends More On Prisoners Than Students - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

State Spends More On Prisoners Than Students

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DAVENPORT, IA – Data shows that nationally more state money goes toward prison inmates than students in public schools, even here in Iowa and Illinois.

KWQC got numbers from Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Corrections, Illinois State Board of Education, and Illinois Department of Corrections. We broke it down for you:

IOWA:
    Average cost per day:
            $35.37 per pupil
            $90.91 per inmate
    Average cost per school year (based on 180 Instructional School Days):
            $6,366 per student
            $16,345.80 per inmate

ILLINOIS:
    Average cost per day:
            $25.53 per student
            $59.04 per inmate
    Average cost per school year:
            $4,576.63 per student
            $10,626,41 per inmate

These are only state funds, and do not include local or federal money. Money for inmates goes towards all incarceration costs, from food to healthcare or rehab. On the other hand, state money used on students K-12 includes instruction, transportation, or facility costs.

Many parents are shocked by these numbers. Even after knowing what the state funds are going towards, many parents say children should be our main focus.

Heather Wangler is a mother of two and school nurse. She says, “These inmates need to be fed and have a right to be rehabilitated and work their way into the community, but our children are our priorities too.”

Iowa State Representative Phyllis Thede calls these numbers astounding. She says, “If we want to reduce the prison population, what is the best way to do it? The best way is to educate our children.” When kids graduate from school and get a job, they will ultimately pay it back to the community.

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