Which states invest the most in their students? | Best States

To educate students, the United States spent on average just under $12,000 per student in fiscal year 2019, although the totals varied widely both between states and within states.

According data available through USAFacts and Georgetown University Education LabNortheastern states tended to spend the most on public education, with the tri-state area of ​​New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey leading all states in fiscal year 2019 with spending per student above $20,000.

Other northeastern states near the top include New Hampshire (#5), Rhode Island (#6), Massachusetts (#7), Delaware (#10), Pennsylvania (# 11), Vermont (#14), and Maine (#15). Data has been normalized for interstate comparison.

These are the states with the highest median spending per student, according to USAFacts and Edunomics Lab:

  1. New York ($25,359)
  2. Connecticut ($20,744)
  3. New Jersey ($20,247)
  4. Alaska ($19,924)
  5. New Hampshire ($18,632)
  6. Rhode Island ($17,231)
  7. Massachusetts ($17,136)
  8. Wyoming ($17,018)
  9. Hawaii ($16,284)
  10. Delaware ($15,406)

On the opposite end of the spending per student spectrum are Utah ($7,811), Idaho ($8,005), Arizona ($8,557), Mississippi ($9,258), and Oklahoma. ($9,446). The dataset does not include information for South Dakota.

Notable geographic exceptions in the top 10 include sparsely populated Alaska (#4) and Wyoming (#8), which, along with New York, are the states with the widest margins in spending per student in public schools within their borders. , as measured by comparing schools at higher and lower levels of spending.

Schools in the 75th percentile for spending per student in Alaska spent more than $35,000 per student, for example, while those in the 25th percentile spent less than $16,000 per student, creating the widest gap in the country. , according to normalized data.

It should be noted that school funding comes from a variety of sources at different levels, which may vary by state. According to National Center for Education Statisticsin the 2018-19 school year, approximately 47% of public elementary and secondary school resources across the country came from the state level, while 45% came from local sources and 8% from federal sources.

The disparities between schools in spending per student can be profound. In the United States, schools in the top 1% in spending levels distributed more than $40,500 per student, more than three times the national median spending amount, according to normalized data.

And while the median amount of spending at the school level remained relatively constant nationally, the gap between the top spenders and the median was particularly wide at the preschool and high school levels.

The Every Student Achievement Act of 2015 provided for states to collect and publish school-level spending data for the first time, but offered little advice for information on how to report these numbers. The Edunomics Lab in Georgetown has worked with experts to develop a methodology to ensure that this type of data is comparable from year to year and across geographic regions and is publicly available, controlling for methodological differences between state reports.

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