$305 million is enough; Activists' pleas don't win over city councilors.

PositionEditorials - Editorial

Budget-wise, it has been an interesting spring for the Worcester Public Schools. The schools have finally edged above the state's minimum funding requirements, with $305.2 million of the city's overall $575 million fiscal 2015 budget devoted to the WPS.

Activists for education, led by the Citywide Parent Planning Advisory Council, insist that even more can and should be done, and suggest starting by funding the WPS at 8 percent above the state minimum, which would mean another $22 million.

City councilors declare that the money simply isn't there.

We don't fault activists for asking for more, but even if the funding were available, there are good reasons to exercise caution in additional spending.

Since the 1970s, the nation's per-pupil spending -- local, state, and federal -- has climbed steadily, with some indices doubling or tripling after adjusting for inflation. And in Massachusetts, spending rose sharply after education reform in 1993.

While most Bay State districts have made gains, many have work to so, and gains in academic achievement have not risen always risen in step with spending.

All that is true of Worcester. The city has made great strides in vocational education, has begun to turn around some of its lowest-performing elementary schools, and can rightly take pride in a number of successful arts and magnet programs and models.

But data from the state Department of Elementary and...

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