Contact: Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
The nation's elementary-secondary public school systems spent an average of $10,615 per pupil in fiscal year 2010, up 1.1 percent from the previous year, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. District of Columbia public schools spent $18,667 per student in 2010, which is the most of any state or state equivalent. States that spent the most per pupil were New York ($18,618), New Jersey ($16,841), Alaska ($15,783), Vermont ($15,274) and Wyoming ($15,169). (See table 11. Excel | PDF).
These statistics come from Public Education Finances: 2010, a Census Bureau report that provides tables and figures on revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) of the nation's elementary and secondary public school systems for the 2010 fiscal year. The tables include detailed statistics on spending — such as instruction, student transportation, salaries and employee benefits — at the national, state and school district levels.
Public school systems received $593.7 billion in funding in 2010, up 0.5 percent from the prior year. Of that amount, local governments contributed $261.4 billion (44.0 percent), followed by revenue raised from state sources, which contributed $258.2 billion (43.5 percent), and federal sources, which provided the remaining $74.0 billion (12.5 percent).
Revenue from state sources decreased by $18.0 billion, a 6.5 percent decrease from 2009. This is the largest decrease in state funding from the prior year since the Census Bureau began publishing school system finance statistics on an annual basis in 1977 and only the second year since 1977 in which state funding decreased from the prior year (revenue from state sources also decreased 1.7 percent between 2008 and 2009).
Revenue from federal sources increased by $18.1 billion, a 32.5 percent increase from 2009 and the largest increase in federal funding for public school systems since 1977.
Total expenditures by public school systems were $602.6 billion, a 0.4 percent decrease from 2009. This decrease in total expenditures marks the first time since the Census Bureau began publishing school system finance statistics on an annual basis that expenditures by public school systems decreased from the prior year. In 2010, current spending increased 1.2 percent to $524.0 billion, of which $317.8 billion went to instruction and $179.0 billion to support services, such as student transportation and general administration. Capital outlay expenditures amounted to $59.4 billion, a 12.8 percent decrease from 2009.