Current expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools increased by 29 percent in constant dollars between 1995-96 and 2006–07; in 2006–07, they were highest in high- and low-poverty districts.
In school year 2006–07, current expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools, which include instructional, administrative, and operation and maintenance expenditures, were $9,991, an increase of 29 percent in constant 2008–09 dollars from 1995–96 (see table A-36-1). Annual spending and the increase in expenditures over time varied by locale and poverty level of the district. Locale and poverty level of the district are associated: 64 percent of the students in high-poverty districts were in cities, while 69 percent of students in low-poverty districts were in the suburbs (see table A-36-2).
Current expenditures per student in 2006–07 were highest in districts located in cities ($10,432) and in the suburbs ($10,251) and lowest in districts located in the towns ($9,068) (see table A-36-1). Rural districts spent $9,358 per student, with current expenditures per student ranging from $9,136 in rural fringe districts to $10,390 in rural remote districts.
In 2006–07, current expenditures per student were highest in high-poverty districts ($10,978) and in low-poverty districts ($10,850), and were lowest in middle-poverty districts ($9,181) (see table A-36-1). When adjusted for inflation, current expenditures per student from 1995–96 through 2006–07 increased the most in high-poverty and middle high-poverty districts (35 percent and 32 percent, respectively) and increased the least in low-poverty districts (26 percent). Current expenditures per student in middle-poverty and middle low-poverty districts increased 27 percent over this period.
Among high-poverty districts, current expenditures per student in 2006–07 were highest in districts located in suburbs ($11,847), next-highest in districts located in cities ($11,689), followed by districts in rural areas ($9,405), then districts in towns ($8,969) (see table A-36-1). Districts in other poverty categories exhibited different patterns. For example, among low-poverty districts, suburban districts spent $11,307 per student, while rural districts spent $9,997, town districts spent $9,652, and city districts spent $9,627.
Districts were ranked by the percentage of school-age children (5- to 17-year-olds) in poverty and then divided into five groups with approximately equal public school enrollments. The low-poverty district category consists of those districts with the lowest percentages of school-age children in poverty. Conversely, the high-poverty district category consists of those with the highest percentages of school-age children in poverty. For more information on poverty and locale code, see supplemental note 1. Expenditures have been adjusted for the effects of inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and are in constant 2008–09 dollars. For more information on using the CPI to adjust for inflation and on classifications of expenditures for elementary and secondary education, see supplemental note 10. For more information on the Common Core of Data (CCD), see supplemental note 3. Districts include elementary/secondary combined districts and separate elementary or secondary districts. They exclude Department of Defense districts and Bureau of Indian Education districts.
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