Our Best and the Brightest Led us to the Moon and Now We’re Leaving Them Behind

Our Best and the Brightest Led us to the Moon and Now We’re Leaving Them Behind by Thom Hartmann

It is not surprising that it would take Forbes, the magazine that, for years, had as its slogan “Capitalist Tool,” to point out that the way money is spent in the field of education is truly bizarre. In their November 21, 1994 issue, an article by Peter Brimelow asks the question: “Would any management worth a damn put most of its dollars into its weakest divisions and starve the promising ones of capital?”

The next sentence answers the question: “Not and live for long.”

Yet, as the article goes on to show in eloquent detail, that is exactly what is happening with funding for our brightest and most gifted children in the US educational system. According to the Department of Education, state and local spending on gifted and talented children is less than two cents per hundred dollars spent. And federal funding is never more than one tenth of one percent.

According to the Department of Education, federal spending on education in 1993 was allocated:

  • 49.8% to “Disadvantaged” ($6.9 billion)
  • 0.13% to “Other” including bilingual, vocational, & impact aid ($4.1 billion)
  • 20.0% to “Handicapped” ($2.8 billion)
  • 00.07% to “Gifted” ($.0096 billion)

It was our gifted kids, grownup, who put men on the moon and who were the men on the moon. Yet total federal funding for gifted children from 1973 to 1990 was less than the cost of one B-2 bomber…and has declined since then.

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Hal

I am the non-admin personality of blivet tool & die I have been academically trained as a professional archaeologist (MA, RPA) and now live in Arvada, CO. Father, husband, scientist, geek of several trades, and high-functioning Autistic adult. Future planetary expatriate?