- The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics on Thursday issued new data on states' per-pupil spending.
- Per the data, which measures the revenues and expenses per public school student in the 2011-12 school year, the Northeast spend the most per-pupil, topped at over $19,000 per student by New York and the District of Columbia. At about $6,500, Utah and Idaho were the lowest-spending states.
- Additionally, the data shows spending increases in only seven states during that time period: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Vermont.
Additionally, an examination of the nation's 100 largest public elementary and secondary school districts found that Southern districts largely spent less per pupil.
The NCES data comes within a week of a new paper by a group of economists who suggest that pumping more money into education benefits children — especially those from low-income families — and, ultimately, society as a whole. It seems like it should be common sense, but paying for better education produces better workers (and, as a result, potentially less outsourcing and stronger local economies), helps lower crime rates, and creates a more cohesive society. And while the U.S. does spend more on education than other developed nations, it can be argued, as Bloomberg's Noah Smith does, that the U.S. has more poverty and inequality to contend with in its schools than those nations, as well.
Further backing up the argument: Most of the top states in Education Week's 2015 Quality Counts report were those listed in the NCES data as big spenders — though the District of Columbia did have a C-.