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New York Leads in Per-Pupil Public Education Spending at Nearly $16,000, Census Bureau Reports

Public Education Finances: 2007     Public schools in New York spent $15,981 per pupil in 2007, which was more than any other state or state equivalent, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. (See Table 11.) New Jersey ($15,691) and the District of Columbia ($14,324) had the next-highest spending. States spending the least per pupil were Utah ($5,683), Idaho ($6,625) and Tennessee ($7,113).

     On average, each state spent $9,666 per pupil in 2007, a 5.8 percent increase over 2006. Of total public school financing, state governments contributed 47.6 percent, followed by local sources, which contributed 44.1 percent, and federal sources, which made up the remaining 8.3 percent. (See Table 5.).

    "Public school systems have to balance income and expenses, just like other publicly run entities," said Lisa Blumerman, chief of the Governments Division at the Census Bureau. "This survey shows us the unique blend that each school system applies to utilize the financial resources it has available."

    In total, public school systems received $556.9 billion in funding from federal, state and local sources in 2007, a 6.9 percent increase from 2006. Total expenditures were $559.9 billion, a 6.3 percent increase. (See Table 1.)

    Of the total expenditures, current spending on public education made up $478.2 billion. Of this amount, $288.2 billion went to instruction, $165.2 billion to support services and $24.8 billion to all other services. (See Table 6.)

    Capital expenditures made up $64.1 billion of the total expenditures for public school systems. Of that amount, $50.3 billion went to construction, $4.8 billion went toward land and existing structures, $2.2 billion went to instructional equipment and $6.7 billion went to other equipment. (See Table 9.)

    The rest of total expenditures ($17.6 billion), included payments to state and local governments, and interest on school system indebtedness.

    Other highlights:

  • The percentage of public school system revenues from the federal government was highest in Louisiana (17.6 percent) and lowest in New Jersey (4.0 percent). (See Table 5.)
  • The percentage of public school system revenues from the state government was highest in Hawaii (89.8 percent), where elementary and secondary education is run by the state government, and lowest in Nebraska (31.7 percent).
  • The percentage of public school system revenues from local governments was highest in Illinois (58.9 percent) and lowest in Hawaii (1.6 percent).
  • Nearly two-thirds of revenue from local sources for public elementary and secondary school systems come from property taxes. (See Table 4.)

    Public Education Finances: 2007 includes revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) of elementary and secondary public school systems. The tables include spending on instruction, special education, school lunches, transportation, salaries, support services and building maintenance, among others. These data are available in viewable tables and downloadable files.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014