The amount of money that the Baltimore public school system spends per student took center stage recently, when a debate moderator asked a field of Democratic candidates for governor what they thought was the biggest barrier facing struggling city schools, given that the district “spends the fourth-most per student in America.”
Gov. Larry Hogan’s office had referenced the same statistic several times this past winter, during political finger-pointing that came after broken heating systems left many Baltimore students shivering in their classrooms.
The figure, however, isn’t quite true.
It comes from a U.S. Census Bureau report on public education finance in 2015. But the...