States That Spend the Most on Education
> Spending per pupil: $13,467
> Total education spending: $26.2 billion (6th highest)
> Pct. with high school diploma: 88.6% (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $50,228 (23rd highest)
The Pennsylvania school system spent $13,467 per student in 2011, the 10th highest of all states. Of that, nearly $8,200 was spent on teaching costs such as teacher salaries, which was also the 10th highest of all states. Most of the remaining money was spent on support services such as administration and maintenance. Of the more than $27 billion that the Pennsylvania school system received in funding in fiscal 2011, 53.3% came from local sources, the eighth highest of all states. About 88.6% of the state’s adult population were high school graduates as of 2011, higher than the 85.9% across the country.
9. Rhode Island
> Spending per pupil: $13,815
> Total education spending: $2.2 billion (8th lowest)
> Pct. with high school diploma: 84.8% (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $53,636 (17th highest)
Out of the nearly $14,000 spent per student, the Rhode Island school system spent $8,398 on salaries and wages, the sixth most of any state. That year, 53% of school funding was from local sources, the second-highest proportion in the nation. But this high local spending has caused problems for the small state. In 2011, nearly 2,000 teachers in Providence were told they were being let go. However, most of these workers were not fired. Mayor Angel Taveras explained that the measure was designed to give the city flexibility as it worked to close a massive budget deficit.
> Spending per pupil: $13,871
> Total education spending: $13.0 billion (14th highest)
> Pct. with high school diploma: 88.9% (21st highest)
> Median household income: $70,004 (the highest)
The Maryland schools system spent $13,871 per student in fiscal 2011, with $8,457 going directly to teaching costs — the eighth highest among all states. Localities accounted for a large amount of the funding. In fiscal 2011, 49.7% of funding came from local sources, much higher than the 43.3% nationwide. That year, $7,835 per pupil was collected from local sources, the eighth-highest amount in the nation. It helps that Maryland has one of the nation’s wealthiest tax bases. The median household income in 2011 was $70,004, higher than any other state. Maryland ranked third in K-12 achievement, with nearly 44% of public school students in the 11th and 12th grade receiving high Advanced Placement scores — the highest percentage in the nation.
> Spending per pupil: $13,941
> Total education spending: $14.8 billion (11th highest)
> Pct. with high school diploma: 89.2% (19th highest)
> Median household income: $62,859 (5th highest)
The Massachusetts school system was among the top 10 spenders, per student, both on teachers and support services and staff. Local taxes provided 54% of the state’s education funding, higher than all but six other states, while the federal government accounted for just 7.8% of all education funding, lower than all but four other states. Massachusetts was the best-performing state in all proficiency tests — it had the highest percentage of students in the nation considered proficient in both reading and math in the fourth and eighth grades. More than 39% of the state’s adult population had at least a bachelor’s degree, the highest percentage in the country.
> Spending per pupil: $15,600
> Total education spending: $9.2 billion (20th highest)
> Pct. with high school diploma: 89.1% (20th highest)
> Median household income: $65,753 (4th highest)
While the national spending on education fell in 2011, it grew by 4.7% in the Connecticut school system, more than all but two other states. About 58.6% of funding for Connecticut education came from local sources, a higher percentage than any other state. Connecticut students performed better than students across the country on the NAEP’s standardized tests. As many as 44.7% of eighth-grade students were deemed proficient in reading, a higher percentage than any other state except Massachusetts. More than 36% of the population had at least a bachelor’s degree, a higher percentage than all but three other states.