Is CA ranked 47th or 25th?
Comparing California (June 2008)
Getting the Facts Straight on Per Pupil Spending in California (Posted on April 03, 2008)
The Census Bureau report strongly refutes the oft-cited “fact” that California is near the bottom in per-pupil school spending. The national average was $9,138 in 2005-06. California was at $8,486, with New York the highest at $14,884 and Utah the lowest at $5,437 – one of 22 states, in fact, that fell below California’s level.
In terms of school revenues, California was 25th among the states at $10,264 per pupil, just under the national average. It was above average in per-pupil income from federal and state sources and about $1,700 per pupil below average in local revenues, thanks to Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax limit measure.
Why are the rankings so different?
Education Week adjusts per-pupil spending to reflect regional variations in cost of living, particularly teacher salaries, and the National Education Association does not.
Both start with similar spending in California during fiscal 2004-05. Education Week uses federal data, $7,905 per pupil; the NEA uses its own data, $7,942 per pupil.
Then Education Week applies a 1990 federal “geographic cost of education index” that drops California from 30th to 46th at $7,081 per pupil, well below the national average of $8,973 per pupil.
Spending more than $12,000 per pupil in Education Week‘s ranking are New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Below California are Idaho, Arizona and, at the bottom, Utah at $5,463 per pupil.
National Per Student Public School Spending Nears $9,000 (US Census – May 24, 2007)
The nation’s public school districts spent an average of $8,701 per student on elementary and secondary education in fiscal year 2005, up 5 percent from $8,287 the previous year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.
New York spent $14,119 per student — the highest amount among states and state equivalents. Just behind was neighboring New Jersey at $13,800, the District of Columbia at $12,979, Vermont ($11,835) and Connecticut ($11,572). Seven of the top 10 with the highest per pupil expenditures were in the Northeast.
Utah spent the least per student ($5,257), followed by Arizona ($6,261), Idaho ($6,283), Mississippi ($6,575) and Oklahoma ($6,613). All 10 of the states with the lowest spending per student were in the West or South.