Saturday, April 28, 2007
Schools, Spending, and Educational Outcomes
A community must be educated to be conscious! Is your local school district spending enough on student education? Is that even the right question? Maybe a better one is: "Is spending on education cost-effective in getting the desired educational outcomes?" We have a major problem in many districts nationwide in helping our kids to learn and attain the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed. By the way, the schools parents, the community, and students all have a role to play in attaining these outcomes. U.S. public school districts spent an average of $8,287 per student in 2004, up from the previous year’s total of $8,019. In all, public elementary and secondary education received $462.7 billion from federal, state and local sources in 2004, up 5.1 percent from 2003. Findings from the 2004 Annual Survey of Local Government Finances – School Systems show that New Jersey spent $12,981 per student in 2004 -- the most among states and state equivalents -- the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Utah, at $5,008, spent the least per student. New York ($12,930) and the District of Columbia ($12,801) were second and third in spending per student. Vermont ($11,128) and Connecticut ($10,788) rounded out the top five. Along with Utah, Idaho ($6,028), Arizona ($6,036), Oklahoma ($6,176) and Mississippi ($6,237) comprised the lowest five in money spent per student. The state governments contributed the greatest share of public elementary and secondary school funding at $218.1 billion. In 2004, state governments contributed 47.1 percent of school funding, down from 49.0 percent in 2003. Local sources contributed 43.9 percent at $203.3 billion. The federal government’s share, which came to $41.3 billion in 2004, rose from 8.4 to 8.9 percent. Other findings: Public school systems spent $472.3 billion, up 4.1 percent from 2003. Spending on elementary-secondary instruction increased from $236.0 billion in 2003 to $245.2 billion in 2004. About $138.5 billion was spent on services that support elementary-secondary instruction, and $52.3 billion was spent on capital outlay. Instructional salaries totaled $170.6 billion in 2004, up 2.2 percent from 2003. The tabulations contain data on revenues, expenditures, debt and assets for all individual public elementary and secondary school systems.