New York tops all other states in per-pupil spending

ALBANY — New York spent $17,173 per student for public education in 2007-08, more than any other state and 67 percent higher than the national average, according to Census Bureau statistics released Monday.

The $10,259 average nationally was a 6.1 percent increase over 2006-07, the Census Bureau said.

New York’s spending went up 7.4 percent over the two years. Public education is the single largest category of all state and local spending.

Locally, total district spending per student in 2007-08 ranged from $14,236 in the Wappingers Central School District to $21,226 in the Webutuck Central School District.

New York’s per-student spending was highest in 2006-07, too, at $15,981 per student, compared to an average of $9,666 across the country.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia spent more than $10,259 and 32 spent less in the 2007-08 school year. States that came close to New York that year included New Jersey ($16,491 per student) and Alaska ($14,630).

EJ McMahon, director of the fiscally conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy, said school employees’ salaries and benefits make up most of the $6,915 difference in per-pupil spending between New York and the national average.

State spending on instructional salaries and benefits alone — $11,818 per student, or 90 percent higher than the average — was more than the total per-pupil spending in 39 states, he said.

The 15,569 public school districts nationally spent $593.2 billion in 2007-08, a 6 percent jump over the previous year, the census report said.

New York tops all other states in per-pupil spending | poughkeepsiejournal.com | Poughkeepsie Journal.

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