School Finance Numbers for FY2012 Shows Overall Decline in Education Funding

A new report from the National Council for Education Statistics offers a first look at official school finance figures from Fiscal Year 2012. After adjusting for inflation the national media revenue per pupil decreased 2.9 percent from FY 11. According to an article in the Washington Post, Stephen Cornman, project director of the national school finance survey or the National Center for Education Statistics, believes the drop is important as the funding decline coincides with the end of federal stimulus aid and other measures to cut federal education funding.

Key Findings

  • In FY 12, local education agencies (LEAs) in the 50 states and the District of Columbia reported $603.5 billion in total revenues. Of those revenues, $60.7 billion or 10.1 percent came from the federal government, $272.4 billion or 45.1 percent from state government, and $270.4 billion or 44.8 percent from local government.
  • The national median of current expenditures per pupil among all LEAs was $9,937 in FY 12, a decrease of 2.5 percent from FY 11. States with the highest median current expenditures per pupil across LEAs in FY 12 included Alaska ($26,255), New York ($18,567), District of Columbia ($17,439), Wyoming ($16,841), New Jersey ($16,113), Connecticut ($15,721), and Rhode Island ($14,303)
  • In FY 12, SEAs reported $521.5 billion in current expenditures by school districts, which included $339.8 billion or 65.2 percent for instruction and instruction-related expenditures, $159.8 billion or 30.6 percent for support services, and $21.9 billion or 4.2 percent for all other functions (percentages derived from table 4). In FY 12, salaries and wages within LEAs accounted for $223.5 billion or 65.8 percent of instruction and instruction-related expenditures, while employee benefits accounted for $81.4 billion, or 24.0 percent of those expenditures.

Read Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2011-12 (Fiscal Year 2012).

Visit U.S. News and World Report for an interactive map of state per-pupil spending.