# Projections of Education Statistics to 2028

# Section Contents

1. Introduction

2. Current Expenditures

3. Current Expenditures Per Pupil

# Introduction

Current expenditures (e.g., instruction and support services) for public elementary and secondary education are projected to increase 13 percent in constant dollars (adjusted for inflation) between school years 201516, the last year of actual data, and 202829 (table 12).

### Factors affecting the projections

The projections of current expenditures are related to projections of economic growth as measured by disposable income per capita and assistance by state governments to local governments. For more details, see appendixes A.0 and A.4.

#### Factors that were not considered

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 age distribution of elementary and secondary teachers as older teachers retire and are replaced by younger teachers, or as older teachers put off retirement for various reasons.

#### About constant dollars and current dollars

Throughout this section, projections of current expenditures are presented in constant 201718 dollars. The reference tables, later in this report, present these data both in constant 201718 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-5 in appendix B).

## Accuracy of Projections

An analysis of projection errors from similar models used in the past 28 editions of *Projections of Education Statistics* that contained expenditure projections indicates that mean absolute percentage errors (MAPEs) for total current expenditures in constant dollars were 1.7 percent for 1 year out, 2.6 percent for 2 years out, 3.1 percent for 5 years out, and 7.2 percent for 10 years out. For the 1-year-out prediction, this means that one would expect the projection to be within 1.7 percent of the actual value, on average. MAPEs for current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in constant dollars were 1.7 percent for 1 year out, 2.6 percent for 2 years out, 3.3 percent for 5 years out, and 7.5 percent for 10 years out. See appendix A for further discussion of the accuracy of recent projections of current expenditures, and see table A-2 in appendix A for the MAPEs of these projections.

# Current Expenditures

**Figure 13. Actual and projected current expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools (in constant 201718 dollars): School years 200304 through 202829**

NOTE: Numbers were placed in constant dollars using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. For more detail about CPI, see table B-5 in appendix B. Current expenditures include instruction, support services, food services, and enterprise operations. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Mean absolute percentage errors of selected education statistics can be found in table A-2, appendix A.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), National Public Education Financial Survey, 200304 through 201516; Public Elementary and Secondary School Current Expenditures Projection Model, 196970 through 202829. (This figure was prepared April 2019.)

## Current expenditures

**Current expenditures in constant 201718 dollars**

▲ increased 15 percent from 200304 to 201516 ($538 billion versus $621 billion); and

▲ are projected to increase 13 percent, to $701 billion, from 201516 to 202829.

*For more information: Table 12*

# Current Expenditures Per Pupil

**Figure 14. Actual and projected current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools (in constant 201718 dollars): School years 200304 through 202829**

NOTE: Numbers were placed in constant dollars using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. For more detail about CPI, see table B-5 in appendix B. Current expenditures include instruction, support services, food services, and enterprise operations. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Mean absolute percentage errors of selected education statistics can be found in table A-2, appendix A.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education, 200304 through 201617; National Public Education Financial Survey, 200304 through 201516; National Elementary and Secondary Enrollment Projection Model, 1972 through 2028; and Elementary and Secondary School Current Expenditures Projection Model, 196970 through 202829. (This figure was prepared April 2019.)

## Current expenditures per pupil

**Current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in constant 2017 18 dollars**

▲ increased 11 percent from 200304 to 201516 ($11,100 versus $12,300); and

▲ are projected to increase 12 percent, to $13,800, from 201516 to 202829.

*For more information: Table 12*