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Published in 2016 the United States Census Bureau put out how much each state is spending per pupil for the fiscal year 2014. On average, states are spending $11,009 per pupil. On the high-end state wise New York spends the most on average per pupil at $20,610. On the low-end Utah spends the least on average per pupil at $6,500.

Top spenders among states and “state-equivalents,” the Census Bureau’s term for D.C. 2014:
New York ($20,610 per pupil)
District of Columbia ($18,485 per pupil)
Alaska ($18,416 per pupil)
New Jersey ($17,907 per pupil)
Connecticut ($17,745 per pupil)

Bottom spenders among states:
Utah ($6,500 per pupil)
Idaho ($6,621 per pupil)
Arizona ($7,528 per pupil)
Oklahoma ($7,829 per pupil)
Mississippi ($8,263 per pupil)

Top spenders among the largest 100 school districts:
Boston ($21,567 per pupil)
New York City ($21,154 per pupil)
Anchorage, Alaska ($15,596 per pupil)
Baltimore, Maryland ($15,564 per pupil)
Howard County, Maryland ($15,358 per pupil)

Bottom spenders among the largest 100 school districts:
Alpine, Utah ($5,634 per pupil)
Jordan, Utah ($5,643 per pupil)
Davis County, Utah ($6,250 per pupil)
Granite, Utah ($6,588 per pupil)
Capistrano Unified, California ($7,118 per pupil)

Political decisions determine how much per pupil is spent. For example, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner continues to refuse to increase the educational budget in the underfunded Chicago school district which now sits at $13,522 per pupil. Chicago has the third largest Public Elementary-Secondary School System in the country. The majority of their revenue comes from local and state taxes, in an attempt to not overburden the citizens of Illinois, the elected officials could consider reworking the state budget to allot more funds to education. Also, considering that the Trump administration took particular interest in Chicago on the campaign trail, they might consider increasing national education funding so that the students in Chicago have a fair chance. Research shows that there is a connection between youth violence and educational attainment. Elected officials would be less than wise to ignore that research.

A stronger commitment to education should be made across the board, but especially in the K-12 bracket if we are to truly continue to nurture the best and the brightest minds.


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