Out of Control Policy Blog

The Condition of Education 2011--WE SPEND A LOT

Today, The National Center on Education Statistics released The Condition of Education 2011. This report once again confirms just how much the United States spends on education despite the ongoing campaign by education stakeholders to convince us that we don't spend money on education and that spending is at crisis levels.

Consider that:

  • From 1989-90 through 2007-08, total elementary and secondary public school revenues increased from $356 billion to $599 billion (in constant 2009-10 dollars), a 68 percent from 1989-90 through 2007-08, total elementary and secondary public school revenues increased from $356 billion to $599 billion (in constant 2009-10 dollars), a 68 percent increase after adjusting for inflation ( indicator 35).
  • Total expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools rose 39 percent in constant dollars from 1989-90 through 2007-08, with interest on school debt increasing faster than current expenditures or capital outlay ( indicator 36) 
  •  In 2007, the United States spent $10,768 per student on elementary and secondary education, which was 45 percent higher than the OECD average of $7,401. At the postsecondary level, U.S. expenditures per student were $27,010, more than twice as high as the OECD average of $12,471 ( indicator 38).

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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