Anin 11 big-city districts that share financial and demographic similarities shows that the financially strapped Philadelphia school district receives less funding per-pupil than seven of its counterparts.
The report, which was based on an analysis by the Education Commission of the States and commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts, found that Philadelphia’s operating cost per-pupil—$12,570 in the 2013-14 school year—was below the average for the other districts. Philadelphia fell behind Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and New York but was ahead of Shelby County in Memphis, Tenn.; Hillsborough County in Tampa, Fla.; and Dallas in per-pupil revenues.
On average, Philadelphia also relied more heavily on state revenues than on local sources during the 2013-14 school year, with nearly 46 percent of the district’s operating revenues coming from the state that year. State proportions ranged from as low as 20 percent in Detroit to as high as 67.2 percent in Boston.
A version of this article appeared in the January 29, 2015 edition of Education Week as District Finances