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Contact: Briana Kaya
Public Information Office
In 2008, public school systems spent an average of $10,259 per pupil, a 6.1 percent increase over 2007. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia spent above this amount; 32 spent less.
These data come from Public Education Finances: 2008, which provides tables on revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) of elementary and secondary public school systems with data for the nation, states and school districts. The tables also include more detailed data on spending, such as instruction, school lunches, transportation and salaries, among others.
“This report on public school spending shows us how taxpayer money is being spent on education,” said Lisa Blumerman, chief of the Governments Division at the U.S. Census Bureau. “Public education is the single largest category of all state and local government expenditures. These data provide a detailed picture of how available resources are spent within the public education system.”
Public school systems received $582.1 billion in funding in 2008, up 4.5 percent from 2007. Of that amount, state governments contributed 48.3 percent, followed by local sources, which contributed 43.7 percent, and federal sources, which made up the remaining 8.1 percent (see Table 5).
Public school systems' spending was up 6.0 percent in 2008, totaling $593.2 billion. Total current spending was $506.8 billion (85.4 percent), of which $304.8 billion went to instruction, followed by $175.9 billion, which went to support services, such as transportation and school maintenance (see Table 6).
Total school district debt increased by 7.9 percent in 2008 to $377.4 billion (see Table 10).