From 1979 to 2013, the growth in corrections spending by states and localities rose by 324 percent, compared with the 107 percent growth rate in money for education over that period.
That’s according toby the U.S. Department of Education. Overall spending on preK-12, however, still far outpaces that spent on correctional facilities. The department reports that across roughly 25 years, spending on corrections rose from $17 billion to $71 billion, while education spending rose from $258 billion to $534 billion, after adjusting for inflation.
The growth gap between corrections and school spending was the largest in seven states— Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia— where money spent on corrections grew at five times the rate for education.
A version of this article appeared in the July 20, 2016 edition of Education Week as Education Spending