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An Historical Overview of Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education, by State: Fiscal Years 19902002

NCES 2007-317
January 2007

Highlights

Introduction

The National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) is an annual state-level survey of revenues and expenditures of schools and school districts. It is part of the Common Core of Data (CCD) and is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The NPEFS collects data on revenues and expenditures for elementary and secondary public schools in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the four other jurisdictions of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, the analyses of revenues and expenditures in this report do not include Puerto Rico or the other jurisdictions.

NCES extensively revised its collection of public education financial data beginning with the fiscal year (FY) 1989 (school year 1988 89) collection. FY 90 was the first year that all states, the District of Columbia, and the other jurisdictions submitted data using the new survey instrument. This report looks at these data from FY 90 through FY 02, providing a basic analysis of 13 years of time-series elementary and secondary education financial data. It differs from other reports based on NPEFS data in that these time-series data are examined for changes over a period of 13 years. These data also have been adjusted to account for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). All data in the main body of this report and in appendix B have been adjusted to FY 02 dollars. Unadjusted data are reported in appendix C.

Analyses of revenues and expenditures for public elementary and secondary education are presented for the nation and the states. Major subtotals are examined as full amounts, per pupil amounts, percent change across the 13-year period, and primary data items as a percentage of the totaled data items. The major subtotals analyzed include: federal, state, and local and intermediate revenues; total expenditures (current and capital expenditures combined); current expenditures; and selected expenditure functions (instruction, support services, facilities, replacement equipment, other programs, interest on debt, and noninstruction).1

The data in this report are presented by fiscal year. Throughout this report, the fiscal year is identified by the last two digits of the year (e.g., fiscal year 1990 is shown as FY 90), except for fiscal year 2000, which is shown as FY 2000.

Total Revenues

  • In the United States, inflation-adjusted total revenues2 increased from $292.7 billion in FY 90 to $419.8 billion in FY 02 (table 1.a), rising by approximately $127 billion, or 43 percent (table 1.b).
  • Total revenues per pupil were $7,219 in FY 90 (table 1.c). By FY 02, this figure had increased to $8,810 per pupil, an increase of $1,591 per pupil, or 22 percent (table 1.d).

Federal Revenues

  • In FY 90, inflation-adjusted federal revenues in the United States were $17.8 billion (table 2.a). By FY 02, federal revenues had grown to $33.2 billion, an increase of $15.4 billion, or 86 percent (table 2.b).
  • In the United States, the annual percent change in federal revenues ranged from a low of -2 percent to a high of 12 percent from FY 90 through FY 02 (figure 2-4). Federal revenues increased the most between FY 01 and FY 02, after the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  • In FY 90, federal revenues per pupil were $440 (table 2.c). By FY 02, federal revenues per pupil had increased to $696, rising $256 per pupil, or 58 percent (table 2.d).
  • The federal contribution toward public elementary and secondary education was approximately 6 percent of total revenues in FY 90 (table 2.e). Thirteen years later, federal revenues had increased to nearly 8 percent of all revenue sources.

State Revenues

  • In the United States, inflation-adjusted revenues from state governments increased from $137.9 billion in FY 90 to $206.8 billion in FY 02 (table 3.a).3 These figures indicate that revenues from state governments increased by $68.9 billion, or 50 percent, between FY 90 and FY 02 (table 3.b).
  • In FY 90, state revenues per pupil were $3,401 (table 3.c). In FY 02, they were $4,341, an increase of $940 per pupil, or 28 percent (table 3.d).
  • In the United States, state contributions toward public elementary and secondary education were about 47 percent of total revenues in FY 90 (table 3.e). By FY 02, this figure had increased to over 49 percent.

Local and Intermediate Revenues

  • In FY 90, inflation-adjusted local and intermediate revenues amounted to $137 billion in the United States (table 4.a). These revenues grew to $179.8 billion by FY 02, an increase of $42.8 billion, or 31 percent (table 4.b).
  • Local and intermediate revenues per pupil were $3,379 in FY 90 and $3,773 in FY 02 (table 4.c), an increase of $394 per pupil, or 12 percent (table 4.d).
  • Local and intermediate revenues accounted for almost 47 percent of all revenue sources in FY 90 (table 4.e). By FY 02, revenues from local and intermediate sources had decreased to 43 percent of total revenues.

Total Expenditures

  • In FY 90, inflation-adjusted total expenditures were $298.6 billion in the United States (table 5.a). In FY 02, total expenditures were $435.4 billion, an increase of $136.8 billion, or 46 percent (table 5.b).
  • Total expenditures per pupil rose from $7,365 in FY 90 to $9,139 in FY 02 (table 5.c), an increase of $1,774 per pupil, or 24 percent (table 5.d).

Current Expenditures

  • In the United States, inflation-adjusted current expenditures were $264.2 billion in FY 90 (table 6.a). By FY 02, current expenditures had grown to $368.5 billion, an increase of $104.3 billion, or 40 percent (table 6.b).
  • Current expenditures per pupil rose from $6,516 in FY 90 to $7,734 in FY 02 (table 6.c), an increase of $1,218 per pupil, or 19 percent (table 6.d).
  • In FY 90, current expenditures accounted for 88 percent of total expenditures for public elementary and secondary education (table 6.e). By FY 02, current expenditures had decreased to 85 percent of total expenditures.

Facilities Acquisition and Construction Expenditures

  • In FY 90, inflation-adjusted facilities acquisition and construction expenditures were $19.5 billion in the United States (table 7.a). This figure grew to $43 billion by FY 02, resulting in an increase of $23.5 billion, or 121 percent (table 7.b).
  • Facilities acquisition and construction expenditures per pupil increased from $481 in FY 90 to $903 in FY 02 (table 7.c), an increase of $422 per pupil, or 88 percent (table 7.d).
  • Facilities acquisition and construction expenditures represented 7 percent of total expenditures in FY 90 (table 7.e). By FY 02, their percentage of total expenditures had increased to 10 percent.

Instruction Expenditures

  • Between FY 90 and FY 02, inflation-adjusted instruction expenditures increased from $159.4 billion to $226.6 billion in the United States (table 11.a), rising by $67.2 billion, or 42 percent (table 11.b).
  • In FY 90, instruction expenditures per pupil were $3,931 (table 11.c). By FY 02, instruction expenditures per pupil had risen to $4,755, an increase of $824 per pupil, or 21 percent (table 11.d).
  • Instruction expenditures accounted for just over 60 percent of current expenditures in FY 90 (table 11.e). In FY 02, they accounted for 61 percent.

Total Support Services Expenditures

  • In the United States, inflation-adjusted total support services expenditures were $92.2 billion in FY 90 (table 12.a). They had increased to $126.6 billion by FY 02, an increase of $34.4 billion, or 37 percent (table 12.b).
  • Between FY 90 and FY 02, total support services expenditures per pupil rose from $2,274 to $2,657 (table 12.c), an increase of $383 per pupil, or 17 percent (table 12.d).
  • Total support services expenditures represented 35 percent of current expenditures in FY 90 (table 12.e). In FY 02, this figure was 34 percent.

Organization of the Report

Including the introduction (chapter 1), the report has four chapters. Chapter 2 presents an analysis of revenues. Chapter 3 examines total expenditures, including current and capital expenditures. Chapter 4 presents expenditures for instruction and support services. Tables associated with the report follow chapter 4. Appendixes A through C contain a glossary, additional inflation-adjusted data tables, and unadjusted data tables, respectively.


1 Refer to appendix A for definitions of the revenue and expenditure items.
2 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was used to calculate the inflation-adjusted total revenues.
3 The District of Columbia does not receive state revenues and is not included in this analysis.


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