Some basic math

Oct 25, 2007 by Jared Smith

Because someone had a stolen base in tonight’s world series game, Taco Bell will give a free taco to every American. The tacos can be picked up October 30th between 2pm and 5pm.

Crowds at Taco BellI’m not a genius, but I got wondering what would happen if everyone took them up on that offer. There are 301,139,947 U.S. citizens and 5,845 Taco Bells. Assuming we evenly distributed ourselves among the many restaurants, there would be 51,521 people lined up at each Taco Bell. It’s a good thing they gave us a whole three hours to get that taco, because that means they would only need to serve 17,174 people per hour.

In other math news, Utah citizens will be voting this year whether parents should be allowed to take some of the money they pay in taxes and apply that money (in the form of a voucher) toward their own children’s private education. With weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, advocates and proponents have flooded the media with all sorts of propaganda.

The anti-voucher side vehemently claims that vouchers will result in less money for public schools and larger class sizes. Let’s see about that.

Public schools in Utah get $7000 per student per year. If my math is right (remember, I am an alum of Jefferson County schools), this is $245,000 for the typical classroom of 35 students. Where does this money go?

Chopper to schoolIf I ran a school with that type of money, I’d have the kids picked up at home in private helicopters and the short bus would be a Hummer. I’d let them do experiments with real plutonium, go on field trips to Tahiti, and hire Stephen Hawking to teach physics and Lou Holtz to coach the football team. And I’d pay the teachers enough to keep them above the poverty line, for a change.

So if, as a parent, I want to send my kid to a private school, I could transfer $3000 of the $7000 to the private school. This would leave $4000 of my tax money at the public school, right? But, the school would no longer have the expenses associated with my child. So, the school gets $4000 of my money, has less expenses, and has one less student in the classroom. And this means less money and larger classes?!?!

If this argument represents how well public education math is going these days, I think the voucher/private school thing is looking pretty good.

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