The States That Spend The Most And Least On Each Student

When it comes to education, money does not always equal success.

An in-depth analysis by 24/7 Wall St.  found that states that spend loads of money on education don’t necessarily yield higher-achieving students than those that spend less more efficiently. The impact of federal aid is inconsistent at best. Oftentimes, the results disappoint educators, politicians and parents.

The U.S.  spent $10,498.66 on each public school student in 2009,  according to the U.S. Census. The figure is a high as $18,126 in New York and as low as $6,356 in Utah.  Surprisingly, Utah’s high school graduation rate is higher than New York’s.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed Census data on the amount states spend per student on education including teacher salaries and compared it with information on metrics such as graduation rates and standardized test reported by The National Center for Education Statistics, part of the US Department of Education.   We then ranked the top 10 and bottom 10 spenders.

It is difficult to draw any conclusions from the analysis because the relationship between results and expenditures is so irregular.  Front pages in American papers often carry news about heated battles over education spending. Teachers’ unions argue that their members must be well-compensated to produce strong results.  Education experts often make similar arguments about the need to pour more money into school districts. This 24/7 Wall St. analysis underscores the flawed logic in that reasoning.