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Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education
NCES 2009-337
March 2009

Selected Findings: Fiscal Year 2007

  • Approximately $555.3 billion was collected in revenues for public elementary and secondary education in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in fiscal year 2007 (FY 07) (table 1). The greatest percentage of revenues came from state and local governments, which together provided $508.3 billion, or 91.5 percent of all revenues; the federal government’s contribution was $47.0 billion, or 8.5 percent of all revenues (figure 1).

  • Current expenditures include expenditures for the day-to-day operation of schools and school districts (salaries, benefits, supplies, and purchased services) for public elementary and secondary education. They exclude expenditures for construction, equipment, property, debt services, and programs outside of public elementary and secondary education such as adult education and community services. Current expenditures totaled $476.8 billion in FY 07 (table 2). Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary education were $9,683 (table 3). Adjusting for inflation,1 current expenditures per pupil have grown 29.0 percent since FY 95 ($7,504) and 55.7 percent since FY 85 ($6,219) (figure 2).

  • In FY 07, $290.7 billion was spent on instruction (table 2). This includes spending on salaries and benefits for teachers and teacher aides, classroom supplies and services, and extracurricular and cocurricular activities.

  • Looking at per pupil current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education in FY 07, instruction expenditures ranged from $3,605 in Utah to $10,740 in New York (table 3).

  • Instruction accounted for 61.0 percent of all current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education in FY 07 (table 4). Total support services accounted for 35.0 percent, food services accounted for 3.8 percent, and enterprise operations made up 0.2 percent of total current expenditures.

  • Figure 3 and tables 5 and 6 combine the detailed expenditure functions presented in tables 2, 3, and 4 into four groupings. When expenditures for instruction are combined with instruction-related services such as libraries, media centers, and instructional staff development, they totaled $313.9 billion (table 5), or $6,373 per student in FY 07 (table 6). This included $210.7 billion for salaries and $68.4 billion in employee benefits (table 7). Instruction and instruction-related expenditures make up 66 percent of all current expenditures in FY 07 (figure 3).

  • Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary education and other related programs were $562.3 billion in FY 07, including $476.8 billion in current expenditures, $56.4 billion in facilities acquisition and construction, $6.5 billion in replacement equipment, $7.8 billion in other programs (such as community services and adult education, which are not part of public elementary and secondary education), and $14.7 billion in interest on debt (table 8).


1 Data have been adjusted to fiscal year 2007 dollars. See Appendix A: Methodology and Technical Notes for more information on inflation-adjusted data.

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