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March 17, 2005

New York's school spending is among highest in the country, Census Bureau finds

New York's spending on public schools is second-highest in the country, according to new statistics published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

As of 2002-03, New York schools spent an average of $12,140 per pupil. That was 51 percent above the national average, and second only to New Jersey's.

New York's schools led the country in per-pupil spending on school employee salaries and wages, according to the Census Bureau. The Empire State ranked third in spending on employee benefits, adjusted for enrollment. Employee pay and benefits made up the majority of total spending in New York and other states.

Per-pupil spending on school administration was higher in New York than in all but five other states. New York's public-school systems had outstanding debt averaging $8,076 per student, about 52 percent higher than the national average.

The Census report also provides financial data for more than 15,000 individual school districts across the country. Of the highest-spending 1,000 districts, 236 are in New York, according to the Census Bureau.

Elementary and secondary schools in New York spent a total $41.2 billion in 2002-03, according to the Census Bureau. Forty-seven percent of their revenue was from local sources, primarily the property tax. Another 46 percent was from state funding, and around 7 percent from the federal government.

The Census Bureau report is available at http://www.census.gov/govs/www/school03.html.

Per-Pupil Spending in Public Schools, 2002-03
(Ranked by total spending)
Total

Salaries

Employee benefits
Admin.
New Jersey
$12,202
$7,645
$2,261
$975
NEW YORK
$12,140
$7,843
$2,263
$736
Connecticut
10,372
6,749
1,850
817
Vermont
10,322
6,433
1,876
1,028
Massachusetts
10,223
6,500
2,009
614
Alaska
9,919
5,911
1,697
726
Delaware
9,669
5,811
1,986
661
Pennsylvania
9,367
5,751
1,562
667
Rhode Island
9,315
6,398
2,166
698
Wyoming
9,202
5,717
1,860
732
Wisconsin
8,993
5,197
2,310
684
Maryland
8,921
5,794
1,791
701
Maine
8,847
5,367
2,392
700
Michigan
8,588
5,328
2,042
727
Ohio
8,555
5,441
1,690
733
Illinois
8,409
5,276
1,523
739
New Hampshire
8,285
5,157
1,485
791
West Virginia
8,218
4,975
2,222
687
Hawaii
8,100
5,240
1,475
575
Minnesota
8,073
5,400
1,442
513
Indiana
7,948
4,738
2,060
595
Virginia
7,832
5,387
1,378
582
Nebraska
7,743
4,778
1,375
686
Georgia
7,724
5,180
1,440
577
California
7,691
5,082
1,420
598
Iowa
7,534
5,035
1,430
619
Oregon
7,460
4,328
1,819
593
Montana
7,449
4,427
1,247
648
Colorado
7,316
4,817
924
605
Kansas
7,292
4,617
990
681
Missouri
7,262
4,838
1,099
655
North Dakota
7,153
4,458
1,209
677
Washington
7,101
4,789
1,097
528
Texas
7,076
4,923
799
505
South Carolina
7,047
4,488
1,269
502
New Mexico
6,870
4,437
1,176
618
Louisiana
6,868
4,426
1,240
530
Kentucky
6,647
4,458
1,136
570
North Carolina
6,635
4,642
848
556
South Dakota
6,532
4,096
1,036
553
Florida
6,450
4,080
1,074
461
Arkansas
6,408
4,178
930
570
Alabama
6,395
4,030
1,145
567
Tennessee
6,201
4,082
960
458
Oklahoma
6,127
3,689
935
506
Nevada
6,084
3,897
1,179
530
Idaho
6,034
3,835
1,173
485
Mississippi
5,816
3,626
976
516
Arizona
5,672
3,755
737
413
Utah
4,860
3,077
1,092
350
U.S. average
$8,019
$5,182
$1,438
$613

Source: U.S. Census Bureau