POLITICS
01/29/2015 12:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Here Are The States That Spend The Most On Public School Students

The National Center for Education Statistics on Thursday released its latest data on how much money states are investing in public school students.

NCES, an arm of the Department of Education, looked at each state's revenues and expenditures per pupil in public elementary and secondary schools during the 2011-2012 school year. The agency also presented data on school spending and revenues at the level of individual school districts. School revenue is defined as funds from "local, intermediate, state, and federal sources," while school expenditure refers to "all amounts of money paid out by a school system."

The graphics below outline some of the data's highlights. The first map shows which states spent the most per pupil in 2012. The District of Columbia and New York took the top spots, spending over $19,000 per student. Utah and Idaho spent the least per student, around $6,500.

The data also showed that between fiscal years 2011 and 2012, most states' spending on education decreased.

Indeed, previous research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showed that since 2008, spending on education has decreased in most states in the wake of the Great Recession.

Finally, NCES looked at how much the country's largest school districts are spending on students. Districts in the South and West tended to spend less than their counterparts in the Northeast, which is consistent with the state-level findings. New York City public schools spent the most on their students -- $20,226 per pupil -- while Alpine School District in Utah spent a low of $5,412 per pupil.

The data was compiled based on responses to the School District Finance Survey, which collected information from individual districts, and the National Public Education Finance Survey, which gathered information from state education agencies.

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