How Much Every State is Spending on Education Per Student

Public education changes a lot on a state by state basis. That’s because each state and district has its own budget, priorities, and values. The team at decided to delve deeply into research and analysis of each state and district’s spending to determine who spends the most and the least per student. 896 districts were analyzed to create this map that ranks states on a scale.

It may come as no surprise that the district that spends the most per student is the famous New York City Public School District. Their budget covers a staggering 1,819 schools, so it’s no wonder they have a large budget to work with. What does all their spending go to? The largest portion is for faculty. New York City is an expensive place to live and teachers must be well-compensated to live there. Other spending is allocated for school meals, building maintenance, and student transportation.

In general, New York State as a whole spends more on students than any other state. A lot more, to the tune of 111% more. Here are the top states that spend the most per student:

  • New York – $30,282
  • Vermont – $24,666
  • New Jersey – $23,870
  • Connecticut – $23,455
  • Massachusetts – $22,91

The factors that affect budgets include resident income, since schools are funded by taxpayers, federal budget contributions and grants, and U.S. GDP.

The map also shows which states and districts spend the least on education per student. The states at the top of this list include Georgia, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Oklahoma. The lowest spending district was Meridian Joint School District 2 in Idaho. Something interesting to note in that data is that school districts that spend less often have less students in their district too, which indicates they may have less budget to work with.

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