Report analyizing where education dollars go, and changes over time

September 26, 2014

Editor’s Note:  The New York State Association of School Business Officials released a report this month entitled, “Where Does the Education Dollar Go? How Has This Changed Over Time?” examining NYS school district spending and funding over a ten-year period.  Below NCNOW has reprinted its “Executive Summary” and “Conclusion,” and has provided a link to the entire document.

Executive Summary

This study examines school district spending and funding over a ten-year period. The study identifies both a shift in the state and local shares of funding our public schools and the disproportionate growth of school spending in non-general education categories.

In 2012-2013, a total of $58 billion in federal, state and local resources was spent to support our almost 700 public school districts, or $21,118 per pupil for approximately three million students. Of this support, $8,563 per pupil came from the state. Over the past decade the local share (mostly property taxes) of school district revenue has grown five percent, while the state share has declined four percent and federal aid has declined by almost two percent.

Of all the spending categories studied, teacher pension costs grew the most (299 percent over ten years), while tuition paid to other districts for resident students declined the most (26 percent less over same time period). Spending on special education grew 28 percent over the six years for which information was available, while general education spending grew 19 percent.

Reductions in spending on general education may contribute to the increased challenges school districts face in strengthening their general education programs, providing the opportunity for all students to receive a sound basic education, and implementing state-of-the-art learning standards.

To view the full report, click HERE.

Conclusion

Although New York State school districts enjoyed a healthy $21,118 per pupil in education revenues in 2012-13, a number of stresses are evident in New York’s education spending. The growth in school spending has slowed sharply in recent years with reduced State Aid and the Tax Cap. Spending on fringe benefits has increased for instructional and non-instructional staff as well as spending on debt service principal for school construction. The number of students with disabilities grew one percent while the number of general education pupils declined three percent and spending grew at a slightly faster rate for special education pupils. These stresses may contribute to the increased challenges school districts face in strengthening their general education programs, providing the opportunity for all students to receive a sound basic education, and implementing state-of-the-art learning standards.

 

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