Education Funding Report Roundup

School Finance

By Daarel Burnette II — January 16, 2018 1 min read

American taxpayers spent close to $649 billion on their K-12 schools in 2015. That’s according to a new survey released by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Spending is up 3 percent from the $628 billion the country spent in fiscal 2014, according to the Jan. 9 report. (That does not include facilities costs.) For context, America spent $601 billion on its military in 2015.

The detailed school revenue gathered from all 50 state education agencies showed that:

• State and local governments provide the bulk of K-12 funding. In 2015, they spent $594 billion, or 91 percent of K-12 revenue.

• States spent on average $12,903 per student. But that ranges dramatically. New York spent on average $20,744 per pupil, while Utah spent $6,751.

• Schools’ biggest costs were salaries and wages. In 2015, states spent $459 billion, or 80 percent of their money went to paying pensions and salaries.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 17, 2018 edition of Education Week as School Finance

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