Young children eating lunch together.

Spending Per Pupil Increased for Sixth Consecutive Year According to Tables Released by the U.S. Census Bureau

MAY 11, 2020 —The amount spent per student for public elementary and secondary education (pre-K through 12th grade) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia increased by 3.4% since 2017 — from $12,201 to $12,612 — per student during the 2018 fiscal year, according to new tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The increase in spending was due in part to an overall increase in revenue. In 2018, public elementary and secondary schools received $720.9 billion from all revenue sources, up 3.8% from $694.3 billion in 2017.

State governments contributed the greatest share of public school system funding — 46.7% or $337.0 billion — while interest income revenue for public school systems increased by 75.4% between 2017 and 2018, from $1.9 billion to $3.2 billion.

Public school systems in Alaska (15.8%), Mississippi (13.8%), South Dakota (13.6%), New Mexico (13.4%) and Arizona (13.2%) received the highest percentage of their revenue from the federal government while public school systems in Massachusetts (3.9%), New Jersey (4.0%), Connecticut (4.2%), New York (4.3%) and Minnesota (5.1%) received the lowest.

These statistics come from the 2018 Annual Survey of School System Finances. Education finance data include revenues, expenditures, debt, and assets (cash and security holdings) of elementary to secondary (pre-K through 12th grade) public school systems. Statistics cover school systems in all states and the District of Columbia. They are not adjusted for cost of living differences between geographic areas.

Do you want to help ensure that our state’s schools continue to receive the federal funding they deserve and help improve our children’s education? Then we encourage you to take the time to complete the 2020 United States Census! Every person counted in the Mississippi census represents up to $50,000 in federal funding over the next 10 years! That’s money that can go towards schools, meals, after-school programs, and so much more! You can complete your census online, over the phone, or through the mail: it only takes 10 minutes to answer 10 questions for 10 lasting years of impact for our state!

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