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Projections of Education Statistics to 2018

NCES 2009-062
September 2009

Section 6. Expenditures of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: Current Expenditures

Between 2005–06 and 2018–19, increases are expected in the current expenditures and current expenditures per pupil of public elementary and secondary schools (figures M and N; reference figures 32 and 33 and table 34).

Figure M. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for current expenditures in public elementary and secondary schools in 2006–07 dollars: Selected years, 1993–94 through 2018–19

Figure M. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for current expenditures in public elementary and secondary schools in 2006–07 dollars: Selected years, 1993–94 through 2018–19

NOTE: Data were placed in constant 2006-07 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (BLS, U.S. Dept. of Labor).
SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, Common Core of Data, "National Public Education Finance Survey," various years; National Elementary and Secondary Enrollment Model; and Elementary and Secondary Education Current Expenditures Model. (See reference table 34.)

Current expenditures

Current expenditures in constant 2006–07 dollars increased 43 percent from 1993–94 to 2005–06, a period of 12 years.

From 2005–06 to 2018–19, a period of 13 years, current expenditures in constant 2006–07 dollars are projected to increase

  • 36 percent, to $626 billion, in the middle alternative projections;
  • 31 percent, to $605 billion, in the low alternative projections; and
  • 40 percent, to $645 billion, in the high alternative projections.

Other factors that may affect the projections

Many factors that may affect future school expenditures were not considered in the production of these projections. Such factors include policy initiatives, as well as potential changes in the distribution of elementary and secondary teachers as older teachers retire and are replaced by younger teachers.
Figure N. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools in 2006–07 dollars: Selected years, 1993–94 through 2018–19

Figure N. Actual and middle alternative projected numbers for current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools in 2006–07 dollars: Selected years, 1993–94 through 2018–19

NOTE: Data were placed in constant 2006–07 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (BLS, U.S. Dept. of Labor).
SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, Common Core of Data, "National Public Education Finance Survey," various years; National Elementary and Secondary Enrollment Model; and Elementary and Secondary Education Current Expenditures Model. (See reference table 34.)

Current expenditures per pupil

Current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in constant 2006–07 dollars increased 26 percent from 1993–94 to 2005–06.

From 2004–05 to 2018–19, current expenditures in constant 2005–06 dollars per pupil in fall enrollment are projected to increase

  • 24 percent, to $11,600, in the middle alternative projections;
  • 19 percent, to $11,200, in the low alternative projections; and
  • 27 percent, to $12,000, in the high alternative projections.

Constant versus current dollars

Throughout this section, projections of current expenditures are presented in constant 2006–07 dollars. The reference tables, later in this report, present these data both in constant 2006–07 dollars and in current dollars. The projections were developed in constant dollars and then placed in current dollars using projections for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) (table B-6 in appendix B). Three alternative sets of projections for the CPI were used, one with each set of projections (low, middle, and high).

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