From school years 1988–89 through 2008–09, total elementary and secondary public school revenues increased from $350 billion to $611 billion, a 74 percent increase after adjusting for inflation.
From school years 1988–89 through 2008–09, total elementary and secondary public school revenues increased from $350 billion to $611 billion (in constant 2010–11 dollars), a 74 percent increase (see table A-19-1). During this period, the total amounts from each revenue source (federal, state, and local) increased, but the percentage of increase differed by revenue source. Federal revenues, the smallest of the three revenue sources, increased by 169 percent, compared with increases of 70 percent for state revenues and 66 percent for local revenues.
The percentage of total revenues for public elementary and secondary education that came from local sources declined from 46 percent in school year 1988–89 to 44 percent in 2008–09. While the percentage coming from state sources was nearly the same in school years 1988–89 and 2008–09 (48 and 47 percent, respectively), the percentage fluctuated between these two years from a low of 45 percent in 1993–94 to a high of 50 percent in 2000–01. The percentage of total revenues from federal sources increased from 6 percent in school year 1989–90 to 10 percent in school year 2008–09.
Looking at revenues from school years 2007–08 to 2008–09, state revenues declined by $9.7 billion. This decline, which occurred in 25 states (data not shown), is the largest decline in state revenues from the previous year since World War II. Local revenue from sources other than property taxes also declined. Total revenues for public education increased slightly, however, due to an $8.6 billion increase in federal revenues and a $6.8 billion increase in local property taxes.
In school year 2008–09, there were significant variations across the states in the percentages of public school revenues coming from each revenue source. In 21 states, more than half of education revenues came from state governments, while in 14 states and the District of Columbia more than half came from local revenues. In the remaining 15 states, no single revenue source made up more than half of education revenues (see table A-19-2).
In school year 2008–09, the percentages of revenues coming from state sources were highest in Vermont and Hawaii (86 and 82 percent, respectively). The percentages of revenues coming from state sources were lowest in Nevada and Illinois (31 and 28 percent, respectively). The District of Columbia does not receive any state revenue. The percentages of revenues coming from federal sources were highest in South Dakota and Louisiana (16 percent each) and lowest in New Jersey and Connecticut (4 percent each). Among the states, the percentages of revenues coming from local sources were highest in Illinois (61 percent) and lowest in Hawaii (3 percent) and Vermont (8 percent). The percentages of revenues from property taxes also differed by state, ranging from a high of 55 percent in Connecticut and New Hampshire to lows of zero or nearly zero percent in Hawaii and Vermont.
Revenues have been adjusted for the effects of inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and are in constant 2010–11 dollars. For more information about the CPI, see Appendix C – Finance . Both the District of Columbia and Hawaii have only one school district each; therefore, neither is comparable to the other states. Other local government revenue includes revenues from sources such as local nonproperty taxes and investments, as well as revenues from student activities, textbook fees, transportation and tuition fees, and food services. For more information about revenues for public elementary and secondary schools, see Appendix C – Finance . For more information about the Common Core of Data, see Appendix B – Guide to Sources.
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