Utah rejected education vouchers last November, so the release from the Census bureau at the first of April probably got overlooked as not exactly important — I saw no major story on it in any medium.
Maybe it was the April 1 release date.
Whatever the reason for the lack of recognition, the figures are out from the Census Bureau, and Utah’s at the bottom end of spending per student lists, in the U.S. I wrote earlier that Utah gets a whale of a bargain, since teachers work miracles with the money they have. But miracles can only go so far. Utah’s educational performance has been sliding for 20 years. Investment will be required to stop the slide.
Utah’s per pupil spending is closer to a third that of New York’s.
Of course, spending levels do not guarantee results. New York and New Jersey lead the pack, but the District of Columbia comes in third place. Very few people I know would swap an education in Idaho, Utah or Arizona, the bottom three in per pupil spending, for an education in D.C.
Public Schools Spent $9,138 Per Student in 2006
School districts in the United States spent an average of $9,138 per student in fiscal year 2006, an increase of $437 from 2005, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.
Public Education Finances: 2006 offers a comprehensive look at the revenues and expenditures of public school districts at the national and state levels. The report includes detailed tables that allow for the calculation of per pupil expenditures. Highlights from these tables include spending on instruction, support services, construction, salaries and benefits of the more than 15,000 school districts. Public school districts include elementary and secondary school systems.
All the census statistics are on-line, for free. Policy makers can mine these data for insights — will they? You may download the data in spreadsheet or comma-delimited data form.
The rest of the press release is pure policy talking points:
- Public school systems received $521.1 billion in funding from federal, state and local sources in 2006, a 6.7 percent increase over 2005. Total expenditures reached $526.6 billion, a 6 percent increase. (See Table 1.)
- State governments contributed the greatest share of funding to public school systems (47 percent), followed by local sources (44 percent) and the federal government (9 percent). (See Table 5.)
- School district spending per pupil was highest in New York ($14,884), followed by New Jersey ($14,630) and the District of Columbia ($13,446). States where school districts spent the lowest amount per pupil were Utah ($5,437), Idaho ($6,440) and Arizona ($6,472). (See Tables 8 and 11.)
- Of the total expenditures for elementary and secondary education, current spending made up $451 billion (85.7 percent) and capital outlay $59 billion (11.2 percent). (See Table 1.)
- From current spending, school districts allotted $271.8 billion to elementary and secondary instruction. Of that amount, $184.4 billion (68 percent) went to salaries and $58.5 billion went to employee benefits (22 percent). Another $156 billion went to support services. (See Table 6.)
- Of the $156 billion spent on support services, 28 percent went to operations and maintenance, and 5 percent went to general administration. Of the states that used 10 percent or more of their support services on general administration expenditures, North Dakota topped the list at 14 percent. General administration includes the activities of the boards of education and the offices of the superintendent. (See Table 7.)
- Of the $59 billion in capital outlay, $45 billion (77 percent) was spent on construction, $5 billion (8 percent) was spent on land and existing structures, and $8.7 billion (15 percent) went to equipment. (See Table 9.)
- State government contributions per student averaged $5,018 nationally. Hawaii had the largest revenue from state sources per pupil ($13,301). South Dakota had the least state revenue per student ($2,922). (See Table 11.)
- The percentage of state government financing for public education was highest in Hawaii (89.9 percent) and lowest in Nebraska (31.4 percent). (See Table 5.)
- The average contribution per pupil from local sources was $4,779, with the highest amount from the District of Columbia ($16,195), which comprises a single urban district (and therefore does not receive state financing). The state with the smallest contribution from local sources was Hawaii ($265). (See Table 11).
- The percentage of local revenue for school districts was highest in Illinois (59.1 percent) and lowest in Hawaii (1.8 percent). (See Table 5.)
- On average, the federal government contributed $974 per student enrolled in public school systems. Federal contributions ranged from $2,181 per student in Alaska to $627 in Nevada (See Table 11).
- The percentage of public school system revenues from the federal government was highest in Mississippi (20.1 percent) and lowest in New Jersey (4.3 percent). (See Table 5.)
- Spending on transportation represented 12.4 percent of support services. New York and West Virginia spent the largest percent from support services on transportation (21 percent). Hawaii (5.4 percent) and California (7.2 percent) spent the least. (See Table 7.)
- Total school district debt increased by 8.5 percent from the prior year to $322.7 billion in fiscal year 2006. (See Table 10.)
Send an apple to your old teacher: