Education Funding Report Roundup

Per-Pupil Spending Found to Rise a Bit

By Jacob Bell — June 09, 2015 1 min read
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After a three-year dip, per-pupil spending on public prekindergarten-12 education inched upward again in 2013, according to a report released this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The report draws on data collected from responses to the 2013 Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to gather information on government finance activities.

It finds that states vary widely in per pupil spending on schools, ranging from a low $6,555 a year in Utah to a high of $19,818 in New York. On average, annual per pupil spending nationwide was $10,700 in 2013, up 0.9 percent from 2012. Spending was heaviest in the Northeast, where all nine states exceeded the national average.

More than 90 percent of the nearly $580 billion that school systems received came from state and local governments, and most of it was spent on instruction and support services, according to the report. The authors also cautioned that the data is limited by some inconsistencies, such as state educational agencies using different accounting handbooks.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 10, 2015 edition of Education Week as Per-Pupil Spending Found to Rise a Bit


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