Education Funding: Where do Schools Get Their Money? How do They Spend it?

Written by: Lisa Blumerman

Our children represent our future — and a good education is essential to theirs. Children use the skills and knowledge they learn in school to establish a firm foundation for their — and in turn all of ours — future.

Statistics released today by the Census Bureau provide a detailed look at how public elementary-secondary school systems are funded and how they provide the education and services for our nation’s children. These data, released annually, provide information on revenues, spending, debt, and assets of our public school systems.

Public Education FinancesTotal spending by public elementary-secondary school systems in fiscal year 2010 was $602.6 billion, a 0.4 percent decrease from 2009. Total current spending was $524.0 billion, of which $317.8 billion went to instruction and $179.0 billion to support services, such as school bus transportation and the operation and maintenance of school buildings and equipment. Per pupil current expenditures amounted to $10,615 with great variation among the states. The District of Columbia led all states at $18,667 followed by New York ($18,618).

Revenues for our nation’s public elementary-secondary school systems come primarily from local government sources of revenue (when combined) for a total of $261.4 billion in fiscal year 2010. When revenue sources are looked at independently, state sources to schools of formula assistance monies ($176.6 billion) are the largest single source of funding followed closely by local government receipts of property tax monies ($169.4 billion).

Data released cover public elementary-secondary school systems at the national, state, and school district levels. The detailed tables include statistics on spending (such as instruction, administration, operations, and student transportation) and statistics on funding (such as receipts from property tax, formula assistance, and special education grants). For more details, see Public Education Finances: 2010.

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8 Responses to Education Funding: Where do Schools Get Their Money? How do They Spend it?

  1. Richard says:

    This is interesting how the government is investing in education.

  2. Ricky McFarland says:

    Quite interesting article.No one can say from where funding for the schools come and where would they go. Except Govt. there are some other sources like rich people,some NGO s contribute funding to schools .
    Thnak u………………………..

  3. BERNARD says:

    Funny… where all the money go??

  4. Devin says:

    I think we need to know where all funding for schools go, not put into a category as other, or non specified. schools are so vitally important and will only succeed when everyone in every school system are focusing their efforts for the school and their students and not worrying about more money administrators and teachers alike. please remember why you got into this profession. it was not for the money otherwise you would have been a chemist, you chose teaching because you are wanting to teach others, and make them successes just as your teachers hopefully did for you.

  5. Lailatou M. Bambara says:

    Hello!! excuse me,i would like to know how much money(statistic,proof or evidence) do the democrats spend for students to get educated. Thanks.

  6. Tyler Long says:

    I am a student interested in trying to improve our schools and am researching on many different possible routes towards a solution. While I was reading the comments suggesting that they need to show where the money is going, I must agree, but I say they should not have to. Why? Because of all of that money should be going into improving your grammar. Look at you people! You say our school needs to tell us stuff, but I think you should learn the stuff!

  7. Teresa Hernandez says:

    WOW! Really? Teachers went in to teaching to not make money?? So doctors or surgeons also did not go into medicine to make money?? They, after all heal people which is why they went into medicine or pay thousands of $$ to get an education. If teachers did not want to get paid then give us our education for FREE!! We pay the same for our degree as a chemist and others. It is too bad our society does not feel the need to pay the teachers what they are worth, which is why many good teachers leave the field. We are so fortunate that many teachers do it for the children because you are right it is not for the money. In fact we spend hundreds of our own money to provide basic needs for our classroom. What other job requires their employee to do that or donate hundreds of extra hours, planning, grading and taking professional development classes. Or hours putting together information to give to our admin for our evaluations not to mention the stress of high stakes testing. I could go on. But really do you think teachers should be paid less for the one of the most important jobs a person can do in our country??

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