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For Immediate Release: Monday, May 11, 2020

Spending Per Pupil Increased for Sixth Consecutive Year

Press Release Number CB20-TPS.21

MAY 11, 2020 —The amount spent per pupil for public elementary and secondary education (pre-K through 12th grade) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia increased by 3.4% to $12,612 per pupil during the 2018 fiscal year, compared to $12,201 per pupil in 2017, according to new tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The increase in spending was due in part to an overall increase in revenue. In 2018, public elementary and secondary schools received $720.9 billion from all revenue sources, up 3.8% from $694.3 billion in 2017.

Other highlights include:

  • State governments contributed the greatest share – 46.7% or $337.0 billion – of public school system funding.
  • New York ($24,040), the District of Columbia ($22,759), Connecticut ($20,635), New Jersey ($20,021) and Vermont ($19,340) spent the most per pupil in FY 2018.
  • Of the 100 largest (based on enrollment) U.S. public school systems, the five that spent the most per pupil in FY 2018 were New York City School District in New York ($26,588); Boston City Schools in Massachusetts ($24,177); Atlanta Public School District in Georgia ($16,402); Montgomery County School District in Maryland ($16,005); and Baltimore City Schools in Maryland ($15,793).
  • Public school systems in Alaska (15.8%), Mississippi (13.8%), South Dakota (13.6%), New Mexico (13.4%) and Arizona (13.2%) received the highest percentage of their revenue from the federal government while public school systems in Massachusetts (3.9%), New Jersey (4.0%), Connecticut (4.2%), New York (4.3%) and Minnesota (5.1%) received the lowest.
  • Interest income revenue for public school systems increased by 75.4% between 2017 and 2018, from $1.9 billion to $3.2 billion.

These statistics come from the 2018 Annual Survey of School System Finances. Education finance data include revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) of elementary to secondary (pre-K through 12th grade) public school systems. Statistics cover school systems in all states and the District of Columbia. They are not adjusted for cost of living differences between geographic areas.

No news release associated with this product. Tip Sheet only.      



Frances Alonzo
Public Information Office

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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