NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Public School Spending Grows

April 13, 2000

The National Education Association says on its web site, "Funding has not kept pace with dramatic increases in enrollment or with the rising costs of educating a diverse student body with varied needs." However, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, between 1960 and 1996 (the last year for which complete data are available):

  • Real spending per pupil in public schools more than tripled, from just under $2,000 to just over $6,000 (measured in 1996 dollars).
  • The number of pupils per teacher declined from 26 to 17.
  • Salaries for instructional staff increased from $25,206 to $39,451 (also measured in 1996 dollars).

Source: Michael W. Lynch, "Just Send Money," Reason, April 2000.


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