TRENTON – The Census Bureau reported that per-student public education spending dropped in fiscal year 2011 for the first time in 36 years.
New Jersey remained one of the top per-pupil spenders at $15,968, for fourth place on the list. It was topped in FY 11 only by New New York ($19,076), the District of Columbia ($18,475), and Alaska ($16,674), the Census Bureau reported.
Also, total expenditures by public elementary and secondary school systems totaled $595.1 billion in 2011, down 1.1 percent from 2010, the Bureau reported today. This is the second time total expenditures have shown a year-to-year decrease, the first time being 2010.
The per-pupil decrease was the first such decline since the Bureau began collecting that data in 1977.
New Jersey also figured prominently among states that had the lowest percentage of their total school revenue coming from federal funding in FY 11: New Jersey (5.1 percent), New Hampshire (6.5 percent), Vermont (7.1 percent), Massachusetts (7.8 percent), Minnesota (7.8 percent) and Connecticut (8.3 percent).
And New Jersey’s per-student spending was in line with the Northeast as a whole. Eight out of nine states in the Northeast region of the U.S. were ranked among the top 15 in current spending per student in 2011. The remaining state in the northeast, Maine, was ranked 17th.
Out of the 16 states with the lowest per student spending, 15 were in the South and West regions. The remaining state, South Dakota, was in the Midwest.