Finances

How much are states spending on their schools?

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How much are states spending on their schools?

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Elementary and secondary public school current expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), by state: 2009
Current expenditures per pupil for elementary and secondary public schools, by state: 2009

Main Finding

Among individual states, the national average for spending on elementary and secondary education ranged from 2.50% to 5.74% of the state’s GDP in 2009, indicating that some states were directing a much higher percentage of their resources toward elementary and secondary education.

Several states that ranked in the lower two quartiles of expenditures per pupil ranked in the upper quartiles of the NAEP indicators.

Key Observations

  • Spending for elementary and secondary public education as a percentage of the state’s GDP decreased in 9 states during the 2000-2009 period.
  • Among individual states, per pupil expenditures ranged from $6,612 to $17,746 in 2009.
  • New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia were at the high end, each spending over $17,000 per pupil in elementary and secondary public schools.
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