Thanks to an increase in revenue, the amount of money spent per student for public elementary-secondary education increased 3.2 percent to $11,762 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, certain states — and school districts — spend much more on education than others, research shows.
Education budgets vary by state — and so does spending. In this ranking, GOBankingRates included data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data to specifically uncover how much every state spends per pupil.
Click through to see which states spend the most on education.
Spending per student: $12,102
Ohio spends over $12,000 per student, making it No. 20 on the list of states that spend the most on education and students. In addition, Ohio ranks in the top 20 states for overall average teacher salaries, further strengthening the state’s education system.
Spending per student: $12,298
Nebraska has a relatively inexpensive educational system, from elementary school to college, according to a previous GOBankingRates study. The state also has the cheapest average private school tuition in the country, providing the opportunity for higher education at an affordable cost.
Spending per student: $12,382
Public schools in the North Star State spend more than $12,300 per pupil, making it the 18th state that puts education first. When it comes to higher education, you need to make more than $80,000 to afford in-state tuition — and more than $90,000 to afford out-of-state tuition, found a previous study.
Spending per student: $13,278
Since the 2014-15 school year, Maine’s public schools have increased their amount of spending per student to over $13,000. In July 2017, state lawmakers allotted an extra $162 million to Maine’s education system, with half the added funds being used for tax relief.
Fun fact: Maine is one of the states with the highest average student loan debt, according to a previous report.
16. North Dakota
Spending per student: $13,372
Known as one of the best states for the middle class, North Dakota spends an average of 13,372 per-pupil, which places it above Maine on the list of 20 states that put education first. The quality of public schools in North Dakota is slightly above the national average, earning a C+ grade on the Quality Counts 2017 report card.
Spending per student: $13,748
Hawaii spends an average of around $13,700 per pupil, making it the 15th state that spends the most on education. As for the cost of living, the Aloha State is the most expensive state to live in all of the U.S.
Spending per student: $14,180
Illinois has one of the largest education budgets in the country, spending over $14,000 per pupil. However, the school district’s per-pupil spending is largely disproportional, causing some students to reap the benefits more than others.
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Spending per student: $14,205
Maryland has one of the highest average household incomes in the nation — more than $20,000 higher than the national median. The state is also able to allocate $14,205 per pupil enrolled in its public school system.
Spending per student: $14,713
In Delaware, the average per-pupil expenditure for public schools is over $14,700. As for teachers in the state, they earn one of the highest average teacher salaries in the U.S., making more than $60,000 in elementary through high school.
11. New Hampshire
Spending per student: $15,340
New Hampshire does not make the top 10 states that put education first, but the state does spend over $15,000 per pupil in the public school system. Its strong education system is one of the reasons it ranks as one of the best states for families to live rich, according to a recent study.
Spending per student: $15,417
Pennsylvania makes 10th place on this list for its current spending per pupil in public elementary through high school. Students can go on to attend higher-education institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, which has been home to 17 Nobel laureates. It’s also one of the most expensive colleges in the U.S.
9. Rhode Island
Spending per student: $15,531
The smallest state in the U.S. ranks No. 9 for its expenditures per student. As of Oct. 1, 2016, Rhode Island had 142,142 students enrolled in public K-12 programs.
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Spending per student: $15,592
Massachusetts is one of the top 10 states that spend the most on education. The state also has one of the best public school systems in the U.S., in addition to the highest average ACT scores. High school performance and a high quality of life also make Massachusetts one of the best states for rich Americans.
Spending per student: $16,441
Wyoming manages to spend over $16,000 per student, which is impressive given the primary source of funding for the state’s public education system. The oil and coal industries in Wyoming generate a large portion of revenue; however, these industries are declining, threatening education budget cuts.
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Spending per student: $17,509
The largest state in the country places a high value on education, spending over $17,500 per student. Find out if you make enough to send your kid to college in the U.S.
4. New Jersey
Spending per student: $18,402
New Jersey falls in the top five states that commit the most money to each student in public elementary through high school. New Jersey spends more on its students in public school than the tuition of Rutgers University, one of the best colleges that cost less than $20,000 a year.
Spending per student: $18,957
Connecticut spends nearly $19,000 per student, placing it in the top three states that put education first. Despite its stature as the third state to spend the most on education per pupil, Connecticut also ranks as the third state with the highest average student debt for college graduates.
2. District of Columbia
Spending per student: $19,159
The District of Columbia spends the second most on education per student in the country. The nation’s capital spends significantly more on education than the neighboring states, given that it has the second-highest cost of living in the U.S.
1. New York
Spending per student: $22,366
When it comes to education spending per student, New York takes first place. This state spends more per student than any other state, dedicating over $22,000 to each student attending a New York public school.
Living comfortably in this state requires a stable income. Click through to read more about the highest-and lowest-paying entry-level jobs you could land in New York.
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