May 18, 2022 – Per pupil spending increased in fiscal year 2020 for the ninth year in a row, up to $13,494 in FY 2020 from $13,187 in FY 2019, a 2.3% increase from the previous year. This increase is the smallest since 2013, according to the latest figures from the 2020 Annual Survey of School System Finances. Figures from this report include data from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, school districts on the east coast had the highest rates of per pupil spending in FY 2020. Data from the Annual Survey of School System Finances provide insight into public school spending per pupil (pre-K through 12th grade), as well as revenue and other school system spending details for all states and the District of Columbia. With the exception of school systems in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington, the 2020 fiscal year for school systems in all states began on July 1, 2019, and ended on June 30, 2020. The fiscal year for school systems in Alabama and the District of Columbia ran from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The fiscal year for school systems in Nebraska, Texas, and Washington ran from September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2020. Survey data are not adjusted to conform school systems to a uniform fiscal year. Additional information about the fiscal year time periods is available here.
At the district level, the New York City School District in New York spent the most per pupil ($28,828) out of the nation’s 100 largest school systems (by enrollment) in FY 2020. Other east coast school districts also led in per pupil spending in 2020:
In FY 2020, the largest portion of public elementary-secondary per pupil spending went toward instructional salaries, which totaled $247.0 billion or 31.8% of total expenditures.
Education finance data include revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings). Statistics are not adjusted for cost-of-living differences between geographic areas.
A preliminary version of the FY 2021 data is set to be released in the fall of 2022.
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