As a foreigner (not even living in the US any more!)
married to a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools
I can just offer a comparison between the US and European
It seems to me that the main difference is that in the US money for
education comes largely from local sources. Which means that
poorer areas get less money than richer ones, hence increasing
the gap between rich and poors. In Europe, by contrast,
money if managed at country level, which makes it much
easier to send money to the places where it can make a difference.
Despite Massachussets being a fairly progressive place
(and probably the best place on Earth to be a Perl geek!)
no amount of state or federal funding seems to be able to
overcome the basic fact that poor people do not pay enough taxes
to pay for a decent school system (except if you're a rat
or a cockroach!).
Now (to try to come back slighltly on-topic) how this impacts the Perl Monks population is probably easy
to find out: have a poll on race/ethnicity/whatever, especially
amongst US citizens here and you'll likely to find an
overwhelming majority of white folks, at least if I can
judge by the crowd at the Perl Conference or YAPC.
PS: sorry PotPieMan, as I am typing that it looks like
dubya carried Florida and the Presidency with it :--(
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