Education Funding News in Brief

School Revenue Up, Though Spending Varies Widely Across Nation

By Daarel Burnette II & Alex Harwin — December 11, 2018 1 min read

Despite a growing chorus of teachers and public school advocates complaining about America’s spending on its public schools, spending actually increased 2.9 percent between fiscal 2015 and 2016, according to a report released last week by the National Center for Education Statistics.

How that money is divvied up across the country varies dramatically. The District of Columbia spent $27,067 per pupil in fiscal 2016, for instance, while Utah spent $8,408. The national average is $11,841.

Local revenue increased by 3.7 percent, state revenue by 4.9 percent, and federal revenue by 1.1 percent.

Teachers and advocates in several states have complained about budget cuts. Many of those cuts, school finance experts and state officials have said, are related to increased pension costs, stagnated revenue projections, and dramatic demographic shifts.

Many governors promised on the campaign trail this year to boost education spending during next year’s legislative session.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 12, 2018 edition of Education Week as School Revenue Up, Though Spending Varies Widely Across Nation

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