New York State once again topped all states in K-12 education spending in 2007-08, according to U.S. Census data released today.  The Empire State’s school spending of $17,173 per pupil was 67 percent above the national average of $10,259.

Key take-aways:

  • Salaries and benefits for school employees accounts for the lion’s share of the $6,915 difference between New York and the national per-pupil average.  In fact, New York’s spending on instructional salaries and benefits alone—which came to $11,818 per pupil, 90 percent above average—exceeded the total per-pupil spending of 39 states.
  • New York’s 7.5 percent increase in per-pupil school spending in 2007-08–reflecting the last year of big state aid increases before the financial crisis–was greater than the national average of 6.1 percent and ranked 18th out of 50 states overall.
  • New York’s schools were ranked among the nation’s best in Education Week’s recent annual “Quality Counts” report.  But two higher-ranked states, Maryland and Massachusetts, spent $4,207 and $3,219 less per pupil, respectively.  If New York spent at the Maryland rate, it would have saved $11.5 billion; if it had spent Massachusetts rate, it would have saved $10 billion.

Here is a chart showing how the 50 states ranked, from top to bottom.

k12chart1-4503747

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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