Here’s an interesting study. It’s from GEMS Educational Solutions, and I found it via a positive mention in a Guardian article, so we’re probably not talking a right-wing group, here.
The study compares certain educational statistics across countries, and one of its principles is that “inefficiency can be a result of either underpaying or overpaying teachers.” By that measure, the United States would become more efficient (better managing results versus tax rates) by lowering salaries by five percent and increasing class sizes by 10%.
Rhode Island’s teacher salaries are top 10 for the country, so 5% would be too low for our state. Also, the 15.3 student:teacher ratio listed on GEMS’s application compares with a Rhode Island average of 8.
To be clear, these are back-of-the-envelope comparisons. A more-thorough review might require adjustments of the numbers (different years, different teacher roles included in the student ratios, etc.). I come across people, though, especially locally, who find inconceivable the idea that less spending on anything government does might be bad.