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June 22 2012

Census Bureau Finds DC Public Schools Highest Spenders

Vicki E. Alger

The Census Bureau has just released its annual Public Education Finances report. It finds:

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…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). … Of the 50 largest school systems by enrollment in the U.S., New York City School District ($19,597), Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland ($15,582), Baltimore City Public Schools in Maryland ($14,711), Milwaukee Public School in Wisconsin ($14,038) and Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland ($14,019) had the highest per pupil spending in 2010.

Other findings include:

  • Public school systems received $593.7 billion in funding, up 0.5 percent from the prior year.


  • Total expenditures were $602.6 billion, a 0.4 percent decrease from 2009.


  • Revenue from state sources decreased by $18.0 billion, a 6.5 percent decrease from 2009—the largest annual decrease in state funding since 1977.


  • Meanwhile, federal revenue 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.


  • Instructional expenditures accounted for the largest spending category, totaling $317.8 billion, of which $211.1 billion (66.4 percent) went to instructional salaries and wages.
Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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