Chart: Education Funding Per Student

There is an ongoing myth that Pennsylvania underfunds public schools because our “state share” is low. Let’s set the record straight.

As a reminder, schools receive revenue from local, state, and federal sources. In Pennsylvania, gross local spending is extremely high, while gross state spending is right at the national average. This creates an illusion of a small state share, when gross state funding is actually at a reasonable level. 

The reality is that state funding per student ranks 25th in the country at $5,400 per student. At $8,474, Pennsylvania ranks 7th in local revenue per student, $3,000 more than then national average. Indeed, our total revenue per student ranks 10th in the country, at more than $15,100 per student—again, $3,000 more than then national average.

Education Funding Per Student Chart

As James noted in a recent post, Pennsylvania spends more than the rest of the country in high poverty and low poverty districts.

I’ll have more to say about this subject, and the implications for spending increases and tax shifting tomorrow. Stay tuned.