Approximately $584.7 billion was collected in revenues for public elementary and secondary education in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in fiscal year 2008 (FY 08) (table 1). The greatest percentage of revenues came from state and local governments, which together provided $537.0 billion, or 92 percent of all revenues; the federal government’s contribution was $47.7 billion, or 8 percent of all revenues (derived from table 1 and 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 $506.8 billion in FY 08 (table 2). Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary education were $10,297 (table 3). Adjusting for inflation,1 current expenditures per pupil have grown 32 percent since FY 95 ($7,782) and 60 percent since FY 85 ($6,450) (figure 2).
In FY 08, $308.2 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 08, instruction expenditures ranged from $3,886 in Utah to $11,572 in New York (table 3).
Instruction accounted for 61 percent of all current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education in FY 08 (table 4). Total support services accounted for 35 percent, food services accounted for 4 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 $333.6 billion (table 5), or $6,778 per student in FY 08 (table 6). This included $221.9 billion for salaries and $74.0 billion in employee benefits (table 7). Instruction and instruction-related expenditures make up 66 percent of all current expenditures in FY 08 (table 5 and figure 3).
Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary education and other related programs were $596.6 billion in FY 08, including $506.8 billion in current expenditures, $58.7 billion in facilities acquisition and construction, $7.1 billion in replacement equipment, $8.3 billion in other programs (such as community services and adult education, which are not part of public elementary and secondary education), and $15.7 billion in interest on debt (table 8).
1 Data have been adjusted to fiscal year 2008 dollars. See Appendix A: Methodology and Technical Notes for more information on inflation-adjusted data.