How Much Does Your School District Spend?

Published June 1, 2003

In March, the U.S. Census Bureau released Public Education Finances 2001, a 99-page report highlighting school revenues and expenditures for the 2000-01 year. The report is a treasure trove of information, providing not only statewide averages for spending, but extensive tables for the largest school districts.

But if the Census Bureau report itself is overflowing with numbers, imagine the sheer bulk of the source data used for the report. To compute statewide average expenditures, the Census Bureau gathered financial information from each of America’s nearly 15,000 local school districts. Armed with this source data, the Education Intelligence Agency has constructed a report of its own, What Price They Will: Per-Pupil Spending & Labor Costs for More Than 14,000 Public School Districts.

The report ranks school districts in each state on their 2000-01 per-pupil spending and includes the percentages spent on instruction, total employee compensation, and compensation for classroom personnel only. The tables also include enrollment figures for each district, so comparisons with districts of similar size can be made. Each page also contains the state and national averages in each of the above categories for easy reference.

The largest state table is 27 pages long; to print all 52 tables would require about 250 pages.

Michael Antonucci is director of the Education Intelligence Agency, which conducts public education research, analysis, and investigations. His email address is [email protected].

For more information …

The Education Intelligence Agency’s reports on each state’s current spending per pupil by school district may be found online at

The March 2003 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, Public Education Finances 2001, is available online at