Per-Pupil Spending up Slightly

School districts in 2008-09 spent an average of $10,591 per pupil, the National Center for Education Statistics says.

That represents a 2.8 percent increase (inflation-adjusted) over 2007-08 spending. Overall, districts spent about $519 billion in operating expenses; when the costs of acquiring and building facilities, replacing equipment and paying debt are factored in, districts spent about $610 billion in 2008-09.

State funding accounted for 46.7 percent of district revenues in 2008-09; local funding provided 43.7 percent; and federal funding accounted for 9.6 percent.

New York, which spent $17,746 per pupil, had the highest average expenditure. The District of Columbia spent $19,698 per pupil. Utah had the lowest expenditure per pupil—$6,612.

Instruction-related expenditures accounted for 65.8 percent of spending; operations 18 percent, administration 10.8 percent; and student support services 5.4 percent.

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