Pennsylvania Education Spending Update

Since our budget facts on Pennsylvania Education Spending, the PA Department of Education (PDE) has released updated data on school spending and revenue, through the 2009-10 school year.

Here are some fast facts:

  • Public school revenue continued to grow, surpassing $26.1 billion in 2009-10.
  • School district spending per pupil (based on fall enrollment, rather than Average Daily Membership, still forthcoming from PDE) rose to $14,315.
  • Public school fund balances grew to just over $3 billion. Despite complaints about “under funding”, school reserves increased 13 percent over last year, and 157 percent since 1996-97.
  • Construction and debt remains the fastest growing category of school spending, more than doubling over the past dozen years. While total education spending from 1996-97 to 2009-10 grew by 88 percent, construction and debt grew by 139 percent. Instructional spending grew by 81 percent, while support services grew by 90 percent.