Here’s How Much States Spend On Education And How Their Students Perform

Grace Carr | Reporter

The amount of money states spend on public education varies widely, and spending more often produces better learning outcomes, according to education reports.

While there is by no means a standard amount of funds allocated to public education in the U.S., the amount spent on grades K-12 rose nationally by over $18 billion from 2014 to 2015, according to a National Center for Education Statistics reportIncreases in expenditures per pupil during that period were highest in Alaska, California, Texas, Illinois and Maine.

New York spent more money per pupil than any other state, dishing out $23,060 per student — almost three times greater than Idaho’s $7,858 per pupil.

New York, Alaska, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Wyoming and the District of Columbia spent the most money on public education, surpassing the average national spending per pupil by 40 percent or more. (RELATED: White House Budget Cuts $4.4 Billion In K-12 Education Funds)

Of these states, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and New York rank among the best-performing 10 states in public education, according to 2017 State Report CardsNew Hampshire, Maryland, Connecticut, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island make up the rest of that list.

The District of Columbia, New York and Massachusetts also rank as the nation’s best charter schools, according to the Center for Education Reform. D.C. ranked first, and New York ninth followed by Massachusetts in 10th. Alaska, Virginia, Kansas, Maryland and Iowa received failing grades.

Utah, Tennessee, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Nevada, Mississippi, Idaho, Alabama, Arizona and Florida spent the least on public education. Of this group, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi and Nevada rank as America’s worst performers. New Mexico, Louisiana and California are also on the list of the U.S.’s worst performers in public education. 

While increased spending on public education does not guarantee improved performance, research studies indicate that increases in spending positively correlate with increased college attendance.

The 74 also wrote an article detailing public education by state.

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