North Carolina ranks 45th in per-student spending on public schools

dstephens@newsobserver.com June 21, 2012 

North Carolina ranked 45th in the nation in per-student spending on public schools in 2010, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday.

The state’s public school systems spent an average of $8,409 per-student in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, according to the report. That compares to national per-student spending of $10,615.

The report detailed spending across 15,345 public school districts in all 50 states.

Washington, D.C., had the highest per-student spending at $18,667, followed by New York ($18,618), New Jersey ($16,841), Alaska ($15,783), Vermont ($15,274) and Wyoming ($15,169). Utah had the lowest average per-student spending at $6,064.

Other findings from the report:

• In the Triangle, Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools had the highest per-student spending, at $11,167, followed by Durham County at $9,679, Johnston County at $8,053, Wake County at $7,727 and Harnett County at $7,342. The census report broke out numbers only for school districts with more than 10,000 students.

• About $16.6 billion in public money was allocated to public schools in North Carolina in 2010. Of that, $1.9 billion came from the federal government, $7.4 billion from the state and $7.2 billion from local governments.

• About 1.4 million students were enrolled in North Carolina public schools in 2010.

• North Carolina’s per-student spending declined 2.1 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. Nationally, per-student spending rose 1.1 percent.

Stephens: 919-829-4563

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