Friday, May 25, 2007

Per Pupil Pennies

Does more money = better schools?

That's one of the questions you may ask after reviewing the U.S. Census Bureau's latest report on school funding. According to the numbers bureau, the U.S. spends an average of $8,701 per pupil on education. New York spent the most at $14,119 per student; Utah spent the least at $5,257 per student. These figures are up 5 percent from the previous year, the report indicated.
And Washington? We clock in at $7,560.

Keep in mind these are based on 2004-05 expenditures AND our state just concluded one of its most successful legislative sessions for K-12 education funding. But the findings will likely raise the question as to whether more money is the answer to our education questions. Interestingly, the 10 states with the lowest spending were in the west and south; those with the most were in the northeast.

Overall, the report indicated the U.S. spent $488.5 billion on K-12 in 2004-05. Forty-seven percent of the funds came from the states themselves; another 43.9 percent came from local sources and the remaining 9 percent came from the feds.

The report is 134 pages of dazzling graphs, charts and numbers. If you've nothing else to do over the long weekend, this could be just the ticket...

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