I know this is an education blob but when I read this article in Time it made so much sense. Read it for yourself by clicking here. One paragraph that caught my attention...
"We've always dismissed the French as exquisitely fed wards of their welfare state. They work, what, 27 hours in a good week, have 19 holidays a month, go on strike for two days and enjoy a glass of wine every day with lunch — except for the 25% of the population that works for the government, who have an even sweeter deal. They retire before their kids finish high school, and they don't have to save for a $45,000-a-year college tuition because college is free. For this, they pay a tax rate of about 103%, and their labor laws are so restrictive that they haven't had a net gain in jobs since Napoleon. There is no way that the French government can pay for this lifestyle forever, except that it somehow does."
So how does the education system in France rate? The OECD, currently ranks France's education as the 25th best in the world.
USA education is primarily a State and local responsibility. It is States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds, that establish schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment and graduation. The structure of education finance in America reflects this predominant State and local role. Of an estimated $1 trillion being spent nationwide on education at all levels for school year 2007-2008, a substantial majority will come from State, local, and private sources. This is especially true at the elementary and secondary level, where just over 91 percent of the funds will come from non-Federal sources.
In 1999, France's GDP was close to FF 9,000 billion (EUR 1,330 billion) per resident. Of this total, just over FF 600 billion (EUR 95 billion) were devoted to initial or continuing education: 7.2% of GDP.
In 2005 the USA GDP was $12.4 trillion. The federal funds attributed to K-12 education was almost 3%.
The US spends more per student on average per year but both US and France fall in the range of $8,000 - $8,800 per K-12 student (USD).
Read about education in France here .
Keep the faith and don't forget to vote.