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The States That Spend The Most And Least On Each Student

The States That Spend The Most on Each Student

10. Pennsylvania
> Total Elementary-Secondary Spending: $21.2 Billion (7th most)
> % Revenue From State Sources: 39% (8th least)
> Amount Spent Per Pupil: $12,511 (10th most)
> High School Graduation Rate: 80.5% (14th highest)

In 2009, Pennsylvania spent just over $25 billion on education, which amounts to just over $12,500 per student. The state spends the tenth most per student on employee salaries, but spends the 21st most on benefits for employees. Governor Tom Corbett has proposed cutting the  state’s K-12 budget by more than $500 million and freezing the salaries of public school employees for  a year.  Pennsylvania’s graduation rate of 80.5% is in the top fifth in the country, while the state scores the sixth-highest in reading and the 13th highest on math according to 2009 National Center For Education Statistics (NCES) test scores.

9. Maryland
> Total Elementary-Secondary Spending: $11.3 Billion (14th most)
> % Revenue From State Sources: 43% (15th most)
> Amount Spent Per Pupil: $13,449 (9th most)
> High School Graduation Rate: 80.1% (16th highest)

Only 5% of Maryland’s annual education budget of $13.1 billion comes from the federal government, the third-smallest percentage in the country. In 2009, the state spent $11.3 billion on its 843,000 students, which comes to over $13,400 per student. The state spends near this amount proportionally for most expenses, including salary for teachers. However, it allocates less funding toward student counseling, social services, and health care, and slightly more for staff support, which includes teacher training and audio/visual teaching equipment than other states. In 2003, the Maryland State Legislature passed the so-called “Thornton law” which mandated a budget increase of $1.3 billion each year. Those increases expired in 2008.

8. Rhode Island
> Total Elementary-Secondary Spending: $13.9 Billion (9th least)
> % Revenue From State Sources: 47% (22nd least)
> Amount Spent Per Pupil: $13,707 (8th most)
> High School Graduation Rate: 75.3% (19th lowest)

Rhode Island spends $13,707 per pupil on education, the eighth most in the country. About $1,800 of this – more than any other state – goes to student support, which includes counseling, social work, and medical care. According to The Providence Journal, Rhode Island is the only state in the country without a defined formula for determining how much funding a school receives. State Governor Lincoln Chafee has proposed a system which would calculate state funding on poverty and enrollment size. Up to this point, state funding has been calculated based on property tax. This plan, if passed, is likely to reallocate money towards poor urban schools.

Click Image To See Larger Chart of Education Spending Per Student

Source: U.S. Census Bureau - 2009 Public Education Finances Report (Published May, 2011)

7. Massachusetts
> Total Elementary-Secondary Spending: $13.9 Billion (11th most)
> % Revenue From State Sources: 39% (9th least)
> Amount Spent Per Pupil: $14,118 (7th most)
> High School Graduation Rate: 83.3% (8th highest)

Massachusetts is considered by many to have one of the best K-12 education systems in the country. In 2009, 8th grade students scored higher on standardized NCES reading and mathematics tests than in any other state. The state’s new $30.5 billion budget, approved on Friday, added $140 million for K-12 education , including $11 million for special education. However, a $200 million reduction in federal funding means there will be a net loss for the state’s schools.

6. Connecticut
> Total Elementary-Secondary Spending: $8.2 Billion (20th most)
> % Revenue From State Sources: 38% (7th least)
> Amount Spent Per Pupil: $14,531 (6th most)
> High School Graduation Rate: 75.4% (23rd lowest)

Connecticut receives only 4% of its revenue for education from the federal government, the smallest percentage in the country (along with New Jersey), while receiving the most in the country from local taxes, at 58% of the total $9.5 billion education budget. According to the CT Mirror, Governor Dannell Malloy’s proposed budget includes cuts of more than $140 million for state colleges and universities. K-12 education, however, was left untouched. Connecticut’s 2009 NCES test scores were proportionately high (10th in the country for math and 4th in the country for reading). The state’s graduation rate of 75.4%, however, is the 23rd lowest in the country, just below the national average of 75.5%.

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