New figures released Tuesday show that New York City spends more than twice the national average to educate its public-school students — but recent test scores reveal a sorry return on that investment.
The city shelled out a whopping $25,199 per pupil during fiscal 2017, compared to just $12,201 nationwide, according to data from the US Census Bureau.
The record amount tops a list of per-pupil spending by the country’s 100 biggest school systems, and exceeds second-place Boston’s $22,292 by 13 percent.
But recent state test results indicate that Big Apple taxpayers aren’t getting much of a bang for their bucks, with less than half of the kids in public schools exhibiting a fundamental grasp of English and math skills.
Just 46.7 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 scored at proficient levels in English on state exams this past year and even fewer — a dismal 42.7 percent — hit their marks in math, according to state data.
Census figures show that New York state also leads the country in per-pupil spending at $23,091, edging out the District of Columbia’s $21,974.
Neighboring states Connecticut and New Jersey ranked third and fourth, spending $19,322 and $18,920, respectively.
The per-pupil spending gap between New York state and the rest of the US — now 89 percent above average — has accelerated over the past two decades, from 45 percent in 1997 and 65 percent in 2007, according to the Empire Center, a government watchdog group.
An Empire Center analysis of the latest Census numbers also showed that New York’s educational expenditures are primarily driven by teacher salaries and benefits that are 117 percent above the national average on a per-student basis.
“Indeed, New York’s spending in this category alone exceeded the total per-pupil spending of all but six other states,” Empire Center founder E.J. McMahon wrote in a blog post.
The best news from the analysis was a finding that school spending in New York grew by an annual 3.2 percent, slightly less than the US average of 3.7 percent.
Mona Davids, a frequent critic of Mayor de Blasio’s education policies, said she was all for spending money on city schools, but accused the Department of Education of bungling its priorities.
“The money that we have is not going to where it should be,” she said. “The DOE should be spending less on consultants and more on things that matter, like guidance counselors.”
DOE spokesman Doug Cohen insisted that schools Chancellor Richard Carranza was doling out taxpayer cash wisely.
“Our investments have led to record-high graduation rates, record-high college enrollment rates, record-low dropout rates, and a free pre-K seat for every 4-year-old,” he said.
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