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Annual Reports and Information Staff (Annual Reports)
Preprimary, Elementary, and Secondary Education

Public School Revenue Sources

(Last Updated: May 2021)

Between 2009–10 and 2017–18, public school revenues increased by 8 percent in constant 2019–20 dollars, and public school enrollment increased by 3 percent.

In school year 2017–18, elementary and secondary public school revenues totaled $761 billion in constant 2019–20 dollars.1,2 Of this total, 8 percent, or $59 billion, were from federal sources; 47 percent, or $357 billion, were from state sources; and 45 percent, or $345 billion, were from local sources.3 In 2017–18, the percentages from each source differed across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. For example, the percentages of total revenues coming from federal, state, and local sources in New Hampshire were 5 percent, 31 percent, and 63 percent, respectively, while the corresponding percentages in Vermont were 6 percent, 90 percent, and 4 percent.

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Figure 1. Revenues for public elementary and secondary schools, by revenue source: School years 2009–10 through 2017–18
Figure 1. Revenues for public elementary and secondary schools, by revenue source: School years 2009–10 through 2017–18

NOTE: Data are for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Revenues are in constant 2019–20 dollars. 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.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “National Public Education Financial Survey,” 2009–10 through 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 235.10.

Figure 2. State revenues for public elementary and secondary schools as a percentage of total public school revenues, by state: School year 2017–18
Figure 2. State revenues for public elementary and secondary schools as a percentage of total public school revenues, by state: School year 2017–18

† Not applicable.

NOTE: All 50 states and the District of Columbia are included in the U.S. average, even though the District of Columbia does not receive any state revenue. The District of Columbia and Hawaii have only one school district each; therefore, the distinction between state and local revenue sources is not comparable to other states. Categorizations are based on unrounded percentages. Excludes revenues for state education agencies.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “National Public Education Financial Survey,” 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 235.20.

Figure 3. Property tax revenues for public elementary and secondary schools as a percentage of total public school revenues, by state: School year 2017–18
Figure 3. Property tax revenues for public elementary and secondary schools as a percentage of total public school revenues, by state: School year 2017–18

† Not applicable.

# Rounds to zero.

NOTE: All 50 states and the District of Columbia are included in the U.S. average. Categorizations are based on unrounded percentages.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “National Public Education Financial Survey,” 2017–18. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 235.20.


1 All revenues in this indicator are adjusted for inflation to constant 2019–20 dollars using the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. For this indicator, the CPI is adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI is prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

2 Data in this indicator represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

3 Local revenues include revenues from such sources as local property and nonproperty taxes, investments, and student activities such as textbook sales, transportation and tuition fees, and food service revenues. Local revenues also include revenues from intermediate sources (education agencies with fundraising capabilities that operate between the state and local government levels).

4 Hawaii has only one school district. Therefore, the distinction between state and local revenue sources is not comparable to other states.

Supplemental Information

Table 235.10 (Digest 2020): Revenues for public elementary and secondary schools, by source of funds: Selected years, 1919-20 through 2017-18;
Table 235.20 (Digest 2020): Revenues for public elementary and secondary schools, by source of funds and state or jurisdiction: 2017-18;
Table 105.30 (Digest 2019): Enrollment in elementary, secondary, and degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1869-70 through fall 2029
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