More than 1/2 of school ex­pen­di­tures spent on class­room in­struc­tion

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

Schools across the na­tion spent over 60 per­cent of day-to­day ex­pen­di­tures on class­room in­struc­tion in fis­cal year 2015, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau’s Pub­lic Ed­u­ca­tion Fi­nances: 2015 re­port re­leased June 14..

The re­port pro­vides fig­ures on rev­enues, ex­pen­di­tures, debt and as­sets (cash and se­cu­rity hold­ings) for the na­tion’s pub­lic ele­men­tary and sec­ondary school sys­tems. The re­port, which is re­leased an­nu­ally, in­cludes de­tailed statis­tics on spend­ing — such as in­struc­tion, stu­dent trans­porta­tion, salaries and em­ployee ben­e­fits — at the na­tional, state and school district lev­els.

“School sys­tems in all states and the District of Columbia spent $344.3 bil­lion on class­room in­struc­tion,” said Stephen Wheeler, a project man­ager with the Cen­sus Bureau’s Ed­u­ca­tional Fi­nance Branch. “This in­cludes spend­ing on salaries for teach­ers, in­struc­tional aides and sub­sti­tute teach­ers.”

Class­room in­struc­tion is de­fined as ac­tiv­i­ties deal­ing with the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween teach­ers and stu­dents in the class­room or other learn­ing sit­u­a­tions.

New York and the District of Columbia led the na­tion in to­tal per stu­dent spend­ing on in­struc­tional staff salaries at $8,758 and $9,112, re­spec­tively.

Per Stu­dent Spend­ing

Na­tion­ally, per stu­dent spend­ing was $11,392 in fis­cal year 2015, a 3.5 per­cent in­crease from fis­cal year 2014. This amount rep­re­sents the largest in­crease in per stu­dent spend­ing since 2008 when there was a 6.1 per­cent in­crease from the year prior. To­tal cur­rent ex­pen­di­tures per stu­dent in­clude in­struc­tion, sup­port ser­vices and non­in­struc­tional func­tions, in­clud­ing di­rect ex­pen­di­ture for salaries, em­ployee ben­e­fits, stu­dent trans­porta­tion, build­ing main­te­nance and other ser­vices and sup­plies.

Per stu­dent spend­ing in­creased for ev­ery state, with Alaska and Cal­i­for­nia hav­ing the high­est per­cent­age in­crease (9.5 per­cent and 9.1 per­cent, re­spec­tively), ex­cept for Ari­zona (de­creased 0.5 per­cent).

Over­all, New York and Alaska spent more per stu­dent with a to­tal of $21,206 and $20,172, re­spec­tively. States with the low­est per stu­dent ex­pen­di­tures were Idaho with $6,923 and Utah with $6,575.

Of the 100 largest school sys­tems by en­roll­ment, Mary­land had four of the 10 pub­lic school dis­tricts with the high­est spend­ing per stu­dent. This marks the eighth year in a row Mary­land has had four school dis­tricts in the top 10 in this cat­e­gory. Na­tion­ally, the top five school dis­tricts per stu­dent spend­ing were New York City School District at $21,980; Bos­ton City Schools at $21,552; An­chor­age School District in Alaska at $17,046; Bal­ti­more City Schools in Mary­land at $15,818; and Howard County Schools in Mary­land at $15,714.

Pub­lic Ed­u­ca­tion Ex­pen­di­ture

To­tal ex­pen­di­ture by pub­lic school sys­tems was $639.5 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2015, com­pared to $613.7 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2014. Of the to­tal ex­pen­di­tures for ele­men­tary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, cur­rent spend­ing made up $567.7 bil­lion, or 88.8 per­cent, and cap­i­tal out­lay was $52.1 bil­lion, or 8.2 per­cent.

Ex­pen­di­tures for in­struc­tion amounted to $344.3 bil­lion, or 60.6 per­cent of to­tal cur­rent spend­ing. In­struc­tional salaries and wages to­taled $216.9 bil­lion, while in­struc­tional em­ployee ben­e­fits to­taled $87.1 bil­lion.

Sup­port ser­vices ex­pen­di­tures in­cluded gen­eral and school ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­pen­di­tures at $40.9 bil­lion, op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of plant ex­pen­di­tures at $51.6 bil­lion and stu­dent trans­porta­tion ex­pen­di­tures at $24.2 bil­lion.

Eight of the nine states in the North­east ranked among the top 15 in spend­ing per stu­dent, ex­cept for Maine, which was 16th. Out of the 20 states with the low­est per stu­dent spend­ing, 17 were in the South or West. The re­main­ing states were Kansas, In­di­ana and South Dakota, which are in the Mid­west.

To­tal school district debt in­creased by 3.6 per­cent from the prior year, from $418.0 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2014 to $433.1 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2015.

Pub­lic Ed­u­ca­tion Rev­enue

State gov­ern­ments con­trib­ute the great­est share of pub­lic school sys­tem fund­ing at $302.6 bil­lion, or 47.1 per­cent of to­tal rev­enue.

Rev­enue raised from lo­cal sources, which in­cludes rev­enues from county and mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ments, amounted to $286.7 bil­lion, or 44.6 per­cent of pub­lic ele­men­tary and sec­ondary fund­ing, while the fed­eral govern­ment con­trib­uted $53.3 bil­lion, or 8.3 per­cent of pub­lic ele­men­tary and sec­ondary fund­ing.

The $286.7 bil­lion that schools re­ceived from lo­cal sources in­cluded $196.6 bil­lion from prop­erty and other taxes.

Pub­lic school sys­tems re­ceiv­ing the high­est per­cent­age of rev­enues from the fed­eral govern­ment were Louisiana and Mis­sis­sippi with 14.7 per­cent, South Dakota with 14.6 per­cent, Ari­zona with 13.4 per­cent and New Mex­ico with 13.2 per­cent.

Pub­lic school sys­tems re­ceiv­ing the low­est per­cent­age of rev­enues from the fed­eral govern­ment were Con­necti­cut and New Jer­sey with 4.1 per­cent, New York with 4.5 per­cent and Mas­sachusetts with 4.6 per­cent.

About the An­nual Sur­vey of School Sys­tem Fi­nances

These statis­tics pro­vide re­searchers, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and the pub­lic with a pic­ture of the rev­enue and spend­ing by the na­tion’s pub­lic school sys­tems. These data are used in a va­ri­ety of im­por­tant eco­nomic mea­sures. The U.S. Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion uses the data in cal­cu­lat­ing Ti­tle I grants. The Bureau of Eco­nomic Anal­y­sis uses the data in their gross do­mes­tic prod­uct mea­sure.

The data used in the tab­u­la­tions came from a cen­sus of all 15,084 pub­lic school sys­tems in the United States. As such, they are not sub­ject to sam­pling er­ror. Although qual­ity as­sur­ance meth­ods were ap­plied to all phases of data col­lec­tion and pro­cess­ing, the data are sub­ject to non­sam­pling er­ror, in­clud­ing er­rors of re­sponse and mis­cod­ing.

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