Even while school districts tightened their belts and made program cuts toward the end of the Great Recession, the latest report from the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that the median expenditure per student for all the nation’s districts did not decline during the 2009-10 school year.
Instead, that figure rose by 1 percent from the previous year, to $9,989.
The New York City schools spent the most, averaging $19,184 for each pupil. It was followed by the Boston city schools, which spent $19,169, and the Montgomery County, Md., school system, at $14,711 per student. In comparison, Utah’s Alpine school district spent less than a third of what New York spent on its students—$5,528 for each pupil.
Local agencies fueled the biggest portion of the $599.9 billion that schools received for 2009-10, contributing $265.8 billion, or 44.3 percent of spending, while state governments accounted for $258.9 billion, 43.1 percent of schools’ revenue. Federal funds amounted to 12.5 percent, or $75.3 billion—up 32.7 percent from the previous school year, before the federal economic-stimulus law was enacted.
A version of this article appeared in the May 08, 2013 edition of Education Week as School Finance