Although state education spending has increased slightly, districts will need to see a much larger hike in funding to meet all the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, a report released last week by the National Education Association contends.
The report estimates that average per-pupil state spending increased by 3.6 percent—to $8,208—for the 2003-04 school year over the previous year. It also estimates that the salaries of public school teachers increased in that time by 2 percent—or less than the rate of inflation. The average salary for 2003-04 year was $46,726.
The District of Columbia had the highest per-pupil spending; Utah had the lowest. California had the highest average teacher salary, while South Dakota had the lowest.