School Spending updates, 2014-15

Pennsylvania school districts spent approximately $27.4 billion in 2014-15. This represents a $1.3 billion increase from 2013-14, despite a 12,000 student decrease in average daily membership.

Including charter students, public schools spent $15,854 per pupil in 2014-15. Total education spending steadily increased over the last five years, save for 2011-12 upon the expiration of temporary federal stimulus dollars.

State revenue to school districts reached another record high in 2014-15, at $10.02 billion. State support slightly dropped under Gov. Rendell in 2009-10 and was supplanted by federal stimulus funding. However, since 2010-11, state aid has consistently increased. On a per-pupil basis, state taxpayers contribute roughly $5,800, which exceeds the national average.

School districts pension contributions increased from $1.9 billion in 2013-14 to $2.3 billion in 2014-15. Schools have experienced a four-fold increase in pension costs during the past six years. These costs will continue rising.

School districts accumulated $200 million more in their reserve funds in 2014-15, up to $4.28 billion. This amount represents 15 percent of their total revenue and includes committed, assigned, and unassigned fund balances.

Property tax collections increased by 2.8 percent in 2014-15, with $12.28 billion collected.