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Latest Census Data Puts New York at Top of School Spending List

Jun 20, 2017

Times Union

At a cost of $21,206 per student, New York spends 86 percent more than the national average on its schools, according to the latest Census report, which was noted by the fiscally conservative Empire Center.

The figures come from the 2014-15 school year and were part of the Census’ Annual Survey of School System Finances.

When it comes to pay and benefits of those working in the schools, New York spends more than twice the national average per student, at $14,769 per pupil, or 114 percent above the national figure of $6,903, according to the data. New York even exceeds neighboring Northeastern states when it comes to school expenditures.

And here are some more details from the Empire Center:

New York’s public schools spent $21,206 per pupil during the 2014-15 school year, topping all states and exceeding the national average by 86 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s recently released data.

Excluding charter schools, New York’s public elementary and secondary schools had 2.6 million pupils and spent more than $64.8 billion - exceeded only by California, which spent about $75.5 billion on a public school system with 6.2 million pupils.

School spending in New York was driven primarily by instructional salaries and benefits - which, at $14,769 per pupil, were 114 percent above the national average of $6,903, the census data show.

In the category of “support services,” including central and school administration, New York ranked seventh with spending of $5,972 per pupil. That was 49 percent above the national average - but if New York had only spent the national average in the support category, it still would have ranked second among states in overall per pupil spending (trailing only Alaska, which is fundamentally incomparable on this scale).

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau