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New York
$24,881
District of Columbia
$22,832
New Jersey
$21,334
Vermont
$21,219
Connecticut
$21,146
Massachusetts
$19,193
Alaska
$18,392
Rhode Island
$17,539
New Hampshire
$17,456
Pennsylvania
$16,897
Illinois
$16,277
Wyoming
$16,231
Hawaii
$16,128
Delaware
$15,931
Maine
$15,691
Maryland
$15,582
Washington
$14,348
North Dakota
$14,037
California
$13,642
Ohio
$13,437
Minnesota
$13,302
Nebraska
$12,741
Wisconsin
$12,694
Virginia
$12,638
Oregon
$12,460
West Virginia
$12,266
Michigan
$12,053
Montana
$11,983
Iowa
$11,935
Louisiana
$11,917
Missouri
$11,349
Kansas
$11,327
Kentucky
$11,278
Georgia
$11,203
Colorado
$11,070
South Carolina
$10,991
New Mexico
$10,469
Arkansas
$10,414
South Dakota
$10,326
Indiana
$10,256
Alabama
$10,108
Florida
$9,983
Tennessee
$9,942
Texas
$9,871
North Carolina
$9,798
Mississippi
$9,255
Oklahoma
$9,200
Nevada
$9,124
Arizona
$8,770
Idaho
$8,041
Utah
$7,951

Per Pupil Spending by State 2024

Per Pupil Spending by State 2024

Education varies significantly between states. Some states are better for education overall, some have higher educational attainment levels, and some have the best conditions for teachers. Per pupil spending is the amount spent on education per student. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the amount spent per pupil for public elementary and secondary education increased by 3.4% during the 2018 fiscal year, making the sixth consecutive year of increased spending in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

U.S. Public Education Spending

In the United States, K-12 schools spend about $612.7 billion annually. This is about $12,612 per pupil. Federal, state, and local governments spend about $720.9 billion annually or $14,840 per pupil. The federal government provides 7.7% of funding, state governments provide 46.7%, and local governments provide 45.6%. On average, the U.S. spends $15,908 per pupil on postsecondary education and $33,063 per pupil on graduate and postgraduate education. The United States allocates about 11.6% of public funding to education, below the international standard of 15%, and spends about 4.96% of its GDP on education, compared to the 5.59% average of other developed nations. The U.S. spends the fifth-highest amount per pupil compared to the 37 other OECD countries, behind Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, and Norway.

Per Pupil Spending by State

Public school spending varies greatly in different states and depends on several factors. One factor is the money that the schools are allocated, which directly correlates with how much the schools spend on students. Higher teacher salaries and benefits also lead to higher per-pupil spending, among several other factors. For most states, instructional employee salaries and benefits account for at least half of the total per-pupil spending. Administrative expenses and support staff also account for some of the spending.

New York has the highest per-pupil spending of all of the 50 states. New York currently spends $24,040 per pupil, approximately 90% above the national average. Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending of $7,628 per student. The ten states with the highest per pupil spending are: New York ($24,040), District of Columbia ($22,759), Connecticut ($20,635), New Jersey ($20,021), Vermont ($19,400), Alaska ($17,726), Massachusetts ($17,058), New Hampshire ($16,893), Pennsylvania ($16,395), and Wyoming ($16,224).

Per Pupil Spending by State 2024

  • Funding for public education comes from a combination of federal, state, and local funding.
  • Cost of Living Index is a measure of the local cost of living compared to the national average, which is set at 100. Therefore, a CoL score of 120 indicates 20% higher costs than average, whereas a CoL score of 75 would be 25% lower than average.

Download Table Data

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State
Public Spending Per K-12 Student
Public Funding Per K-12 Student
Cost Of Living Index
K-12 Spending As Perc Taxpayer Income
Teachers As A Percent Of Staff Salaries
Public Education Average Post Secondary
New York$24,881$28,625125.14.65%55.3%$33,760
District of Columbia$22,832$29,121148.73.4%48.1%$27,142
New Jersey$21,334$23,613114.14.73%48.6%$32,421
Vermont$21,219$20,820114.95.33%45.9%$31,103
Connecticut$21,146$22,703113.14.9%44.6%$20,284
Massachusetts$19,193$19,734148.43.6%56.1%$18,813
Alaska$18,392$19,553124.45.2%46.1%$27,266
Rhode Island$17,539$18,732110.54.18%54.6%$18,524
New Hampshire$17,456$18,7581153.51%46.2%$36,914
Pennsylvania$16,897$19,369993.9%50%$18,141
Illinois$16,277$15,74690.84.29%49.9%$32,881
Wyoming$16,231$19,15292.84.23%44.3%$33,111
Hawaii$16,128$17,233118.43.58%52%$39,372
Delaware$15,931$16,522102.64.12%52.4%$23,146
Maine$15,691$16,772111.54.11%42.2%$30,293
Maryland$15,582$18,049119.53.54%51.4%$38,453
Washington$14,348$17,276115.13.22%61.1%$38,416
North Dakota$14,037$16,36194.63.62%51.1%$21,746
California$13,642$16,015134.53.2%45.6%$17,946
Ohio$13,437$15,214943.84%31.5%$31,465
Minnesota$13,302$16,20594.13.53%47.8%$26,646
Nebraska$12,741$14,27090.13.89%49.3%$24,316
Wisconsin$12,694$14,793953.49%57.5%$40,038
Virginia$12,638$13,656103.13.16%50.5%$26,561
Oregon$12,460$15,309115.13.18%44.1%$33,289
West Virginia$12,266$13,49990.34.35%51.1%$20,519
Michigan$12,053$14,32192.73.65%46.4%$22,316
Montana$11,983$13,739103.73.3%48.8%$25,055
Iowa$11,935$14,12989.73.72%49%$28,380
Louisiana$11,917$13,235923.81%54.3%$30,196
Missouri$11,349$13,29788.43.44%52.5%$27,160
Kansas$11,327$13,93787.73.58%54.6%$25,958
Kentucky$11,278$12,76293.83.87%42.9%$27,277
Georgia$11,203$12,766913.83%50.4%$43,420
Colorado$11,070$13,559105.52.84%46.3%$25,203
South Carolina$10,991$14,14996.53.62%64.3%$29,045
New Mexico$10,469$12,36294.23.8%57.8%$38,516
Arkansas$10,414$11,73690.33.79%48.6%$26,246
South Dakota$10,326$12,26993.82.96%49.3%$21,522
Indiana$10,256$12,81091.53.27%37.7%$41,705
Alabama$10,108$11,37788.83.42%56.9%$21,760
Florida$9,983$11,109102.32.5%52.8%$23,834
Tennessee$9,942$10,88190.42.98%51.8%$29,665
Texas$9,871$12,324933.46%50.3%$26,102
North Carolina$9,798$10,29896.13%52.1%$27,505
Mississippi$9,255$10,39885.33.73%47.5%$26,423
Oklahoma$9,200$10,479863.42%49.4%$39,061
Nevada$9,124$11,017101.32.81%85.9%$34,646
Arizona$8,770$10,392107.22.88%46.5%$25,166
Idaho$8,041$9,369106.12.99%57.6%$27,760
Utah$7,951$9,673101.53.37%50.5%$22,187
showing: 51 rows

Sources