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Did You Know?

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark report, A Nation at Risk.
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In the 2007-08 school year, Utah spent $8,224 per public school student.
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Charter schools are independent public schools run by parents or non-profits.
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The average class size in Utah is 22.2
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High school students can graduate with an associate's degree and a scholarship worth 75% of college tuition.
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Per Student Spending = $8,224

In the 2007-08 school year (the most recent school year for which actual spending figures are available), Utah spent $8,224 per public school student.  As the graph below shows, the amount that Utah spends per student each school year has consistently increased over the decades. Since 1970, per student spending has increased 111% (more than double) even after adjusting for inflation.

Utah Per Student Spending, 1960 - 2008
Utah Taxpayers Association1

Per Student & Total Spending since 1930
Utah Taxpayers Association1

Fiscal Year
Per Student Spending
Adjusted for Inflation% Change
to 2008
Average
Class Size

Total Spending
2008$8,224$8,224
--
--
$4.42 Billion
2007
$7,009
$7,361
11.72%
22.2
$3.67 Billion
2006
$6,529
$7,041
16.80%
22.1
$3.31 Billion
2005
$6,309
 $7,09815.87%
22.6
$3.13 Billion
2004
$6,144
 $7,08716.04%
22.4
$2.93 Billion
2003
$5,980
 $7,12315.46%
21.8
$2.81 Billion
2002
$5,955 $7,24313.54%
21.8
$2.79 Billion
2001
$5,522 $6,78821.15%
21.9
$2.57 Billion
2000
$5,199 $6,59924.63%
--
$2.43 Billion
1995
$4,110 $5,89739.45%
--
$1.94 Billion
1990
$2,941
 $4,95466.00%
--
$1.28 Billion
1980
$2,084
 $5,51449.15%
--
$696 Million
1970
$691
 $3,897111.04%
--
$211 Million
1960
$429
 $3,171159.32%
--
$99 Million
1950
$221
 $2,032304.75%
--
$34 Million
1940
$100
 $1,552429.94%
--
$13 Million
1930
$97
 $1,263550.94%
--
$12 Million

 

See how much your School District and Charter Schools* spend per student

Or use one of the websites below to look up school district spending data:

*It should be noted that although charter schools currently spend more per student than school districts, most of the difference is in school construction costs.  Nearly half of public school enrollment growth is absorbed by charter schools even though they represent a small fraction of the total public schools in Utah.  This means that charter schools are incurring a disproportionate share of new building construction costs.

 

Where Per Student Spending Goes

Each year, the Utah Taxpayers Association uses the most recent data available from the Utah State Office of Education to figure out how each dollar was spent per student.  The 2007-08 school year is the most recent year for which actual data, and not just estimates, are available.

Where Per Student Spending Goes, 2007-08
Utah Taxpayers Association1

Expense CategoryAmount
Per Student
% of total
TOTAL PER STUDENT SPENDING
$8,224
100.0%
    - INSTRUCTION$4,254
51.7%
    - SUPPORT SERVICES
$1,848
22.4%
        - Student Support
$223
2.7%
        - Student Transportation
$221
2.7%
        - Media/Instructional Support
$275
3.3%
        - Administration & Business
 $5947.2%
        - Property Maintenance
$535
6.5%
    - CAPITAL OUTLAY
 $1,79021.8%
        - Construction$1,587
19.3%
        - Interest on Debt
$203
2.5%
    - FOOD SERVICES
$332
4.0%
>>See how a particular school district or charter school spends dollars per student

Explanation of Expense Categories:

  • INSTRUCTION = salaries and benefits of teachers, substitutes, and aides; teaching supplies, textbooks, and materials.  This category is influenced most by class size and teacher compensation.
  • SUPPORT SERVICES
    • Student Support = salaries, benefits, and expenses for guidance personnel, health and social workers, psychologists, and secretarial staff.
    • Student Transportation = expenses related to busing students to and from school.
    • Media/Instructional Support = library books and audiovisual material; salaries and benefits of media/library staff and clerical help for teachers.
    • Administration & Business = salaries and benefits of district administration, principals, business office, and secretarial support.
    • Property Maintenance = custodial and maintenance services and related materials and supplies.
  • CAPITAL OUTLAY
    • Construction = acquisition and construction of buildings.
    • Interest on Debt = interest payments on debt.  Principal repayment is excluded.
  • FOOD SERVICES = cost of providing food services to students and staff.

For more info...

*It should be noted that although charter schools currently spend more per student than school districts, most of the difference is in school construction costs.  Nearly half of public school enrollment growth is absorbed by charter schools even though they represent a small fraction of the total public schools in Utah.  This means that charter schools are incurring a disproportionate share of new building construction costs.

 

Where Per Student Spending Comes From

Each year, the Utah Taxpayers Association uses the most recent data available from the Utah State Office of Education to figure out the sources of each dollar spent per student.  The 2007-08 school year is the most recent year for which actual data, and not just estimates, are available.

Where Per Student Spending Comes From, 2007-08
Utah Taxpayers Association1

Funding SourceAmount
Per Student
% of total
    - PROPERTY TAXES
$2,233
27.5%
    - OTHER LOCAL SOURCES
$659
8.1%
    - STATE FUNDS
 $4,59656.6%
    - FEDERAL FUNDS$636
7.8%
TOTAL PER STUDENT FUNDING$8,124
100.0%

Table Notes:

  • Per Student Funding in Table 2 does not match Per Student Spending in Table 1 because expenditures for constructing buildings are incurred immediately, while property taxes to pay off construction bonds are received over several years.  Spending figures may also not match funding source figures because school districts may use funding to increase their reserves or use their existing reserves to increase spending.
  • To avoid double counting, funding from bonds and building reserves (Fund 40) are not included.

 

Explanation of Funding Sources:

  • PROPERTY TAXES: In 2007, 56% of property taxes, equaling $1.27 billion, went directly to public school districts.
  • OTHER LOCAL SOURCES: This includes private donations, interest on school district funding reserves, etc. 
  • STATE FUNDS: Almost all state funds for K-12 education come from state income taxes, both individual and corporate.  By law, 100% of state individual and corporate income taxes must go towards K-12 and higher education.  In the 2006-07 school year, 80% of state individual and corporate income taxes went towards K-12 education and 20% went towards higher education, equaling $2.1 billion and $511 million respectively.
  • FEDERAL FUNDS: These funds come from federal grants for specific programs, such as Title I funding for high-risk students and the free and reduced price lunch program, and are paid for through federal taxes.
  • Learn more about funding sources>>

 

How does Utah compare?

Utah spends the least per student in the U.S. according to the most recent national reports.  Utah also has the largest household size in the U.S., and the least amount of personal income per student.

Utah's Per Student Spending compared to the U.S.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)2

NCES (2004-05)
 Rank

State
(Mountain West)

Per Student Spending
9
Wyoming
$12,110
25
Colorado
$9,421
26
New Mexico
$9,368
39
Nevada
$8,646
41
Montana
$8,638
48
Arizona
$7,214
49
Idaho
$7,185
51
Utah
$6,301
   
NATIONAL AVERAGE
$10,071

The National Center for Education Statistics is a part of the U.S. Department of Education and is the clearinghouse for nationwide data on U.S. public schools.  Learn more>>

 

Utah's Per Student Spending compared to the U.S.
U.S. Census Bureau*
3

U.S. Census Bureau* (2005-06)
Rank
State
(Mountain West)

Per Student Spending

10
Wyoming
$11,197
26Montana
$8,581
35New Mexico
$8,086
36Colorado
$8,057
45Nevada
$7,345
25Arizona
$6,472
50Idaho
$6,440
51Utah$5,437
   
NATIONAL AVERAGE$9,138

*The U.S. Census Bureau's figure does not include construction costs and debt repayment.

The U.S. Census Bureau annually releases a report on per student spending across the U.S. based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics.  However, the U.S. Census Bureau does not include construction costs and debt payment in their calculations.

 

Enrollment and Personal Income Figures
U.S. Census Bureau
3

% of State's Population Enrolled
in Public School
(Fall 2005)
  Amount of Personal
Income Per Student
(2005)
 Rank

State
(Mountain West)

% Population
Enrolled
  Rank
State
(Mountain West)

Personal
Income per Student

2Utah19.9%  15
Colorado
$225,563
4Idaho18.1%  18Wyoming$219,453
9Nevada17.1%  19Nevada
$218,698
12New Mexico
17.0%  36Montana$188,030
14
Wyoming
16.9%
  38Arizona$180,078
15Arizona16.9%  47New Mexico$165,283
14Colorado16.7%  49Idaho$156,453
34Montana15.5%  51Utah$141,321
        
NATIONAL AVERAGE
16.32%
  NATIONAL AVERAGE$213,901

 

For more info...

 

SOURCES

  1. Utah School District Comparison 2007-08 by the Utah Taxpayers Association based on data from the Utah State Office of Education, School Finance & Statistics, Financial Reports
  2. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2007, Table 172: Total and current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary education, by function and state or jurisdiction: 2004-05.  Accessed at: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_172.asp.
  3. U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances Report: 2006."  Accessed at http://www.census.gov/govs/www/school06.html

 

 

 

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