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Transportation

Question:
What percentage of students are transported at public expense and how much does the public spend on transportation on a per-pupil basis?

Response:

The expenditure for public school student transportation was $1,152 per student transported in 2018–19 (in unadjusted dollars).

Students transported at public expense and current expenditures for transportation: Selected years, 1980–81 to 2018–19
School year Students transported at public expense (number)1 Students transported at public expense (percent of total)1 Expenditures for transportation (in thousands)2, 3
[In unadjusted dollars]
Average expenditure per student transported2
[In unadjusted dollars]
Expenditures for transportation (in thousands)3, 4
[In constant 2020–21 dollars]
Average expenditure per student transported4
[In constant 2020–21 dollars]
1980–81 22,294,0005 59.1 $4,408,000 $1985 $13,390,703 $6015
1990–91 22,145,0005 57.6 8,678,954 3925 17,054,411 7705
1999–2000 24,669,0005 56.3 13,007,625 5275 20,219,323 8205
2000–01 24,621,0005 55.9 14,052,654 5715 21,120,154 8585
2001–02 24,780,0006 55.6 14,799,365 5976 21,855,458 8826
2002–03 24,807,0006 55.1 15,648,821 6316 22,612,970 9126
2003–04 25,252,0006 55.7 16,348,784 6476 23,118,666 9166
2004–05 25,368,0006 55.6 17,459,659 6886 23,968,276 9456
2005–06 25,448,0006 55.4 18,850,234 7416 24,927,926 9806
2006–07 25,337,0006 54.9 19,979,068 7896 25,754,694 1,0166
2007–08 25,305,0005 54.8 21,536,978 8515 26,771,014 1,0585
2008–09 25,095,0005 54.3 21,679,876 8645 26,577,537 1,0595
2009–10 24,779,0005 54.0 21,819,304 8815 26,492,129 1,0695
2010–11 24,709,0005 53.6 22,370,807 9055 26,627,075 1,0785
2011–12 24,493,0005 52.8 22,926,700 9365 26,511,915 1,0825
2012–13 24,355,0005 52.3 23,237,941 9545 26,431,962 1,0855
2013–14 24,694,0005 52.7 23,845,036 9665 26,705,332 1,0815
2014–15 24,566,0005 52.2 23,961,692 97552 26,641,977 1,0855
2015–16 24,413,0005 51.7 24,325,727 9965 26,865,567 1,1005
2016–17 24,359,0005 51.5 25,350,714 1,0415 27,491,864 1,1295
2017–18 24,301,0005 51.5 26,211,145 1,0795 27,798,333 1,1445
2018–19 24,245,0005 51.4 27,938,958 1,1525 29,029,189 1,1975

1 Includes private school students who were transported at public expense.
2 Unadjusted (or "current") dollars have not been adjusted to compensate for inflation.
3 Excludes capital outlay for all years except 198081.
4 Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index, prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis.
5 Estimate based on data appearing in January issues of School Bus Fleet.
6 Estimate based on data reported by School Transportation News.
NOTE: Data in this table represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.

SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Table 236.90. Students transported at public expense and current expenditures for transportation: Selected years, 1929–30 through 2018–19 [Data table]. In Digest of education statistics. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d21/tables/dt21_236.90.asp.