Fact checked

States That Spend the Most on Education

Education comes at a high price, and some states invest more in their students than others. Find out which states spend the most (and least) on their students.
Mathematics
3 minutes
States That Spend the Most on Education
Written by:

At Learner, we believe education is one of the most important things we invest in throughout out lives. Most of us spend at least thirteen years in school, starting from age five, and some will even extend their educational period into their late twenties and beyond.

Investing in the future of our children via their education can help them build the lives they want. But education comes at a price—and a high one, at that. And some states invest more in their students than others. Find out which states have the highest spending per student in our map and table below!

Facts and Findings

  • Alaska spends the most on students overall at a total of $53,124 per student between K-12 and postsecondary education
  • Idaho spends the least amount on education overall at $19,661 per student
  • Between the highest-spending state (Alaska) and the lowest-spending (Idaho), the spending gap is $33,463
  • New York invests the most on K-12 education, spending $25,520 on each student
  • For postsecondary spending, New Mexico leads the nation at a spend of $35,730 per pupil
  • Five of the bottom eleven states for education spending also ranked in the bottom eleven states for math scores in the nation. These states are: District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Idaho, Florida, West Virginia

Methodology

We analyzed various data sets surrounding education spending in each state from the U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics report provided by EducationData.org. The data sets we used to create this report are:

  • Public K-12 Spending Per Student
  • Public Education Spending by State
  • Public K-12 Spending as a Percentage of State Taxpayer Income
  • Public Education Funding by State
StateRankTotal Spend Per StudentK-12 Spend Per StudentPost- secondary Spend Per Student% Federal Funding for K-12% State & Local Funding for K-12% of Taxpayer Income for K-12 Spend
Alaska1$53,124$18,313$34,81114.61%85.39%1.40%
Michigan2$46,887$13,072$33,8158.37%91.63%0.90%
Hawaii3$46,363$15,205$31,1588.27%91.73%0.80%
New Mexico4$45,717$9,987$35,73013.38%86.62%0.80%
Oregon5$44,506$11,340$33,1666.81%93.19%0.70%
Vermont6$43,638$21,314$22,3246.36%93.64%1.20%
Washington7$43,543$14,556$28,9876.20%93.80%1.00%
Wyoming8$42,870$16,698$26,1726.40%93.60%1.20%
Connecticut9$41,783$21,346$20,4374.29%95.71%1.00%
New Jersey10$41,567$20,630$20,9374.11%95.89%1.20%
New York11$40,934$25,520$15,4144.27%95.73%1.30%
Iowa12$40,307$11,958$28,3497.21%92.79%1.00%
Pennsylvania13$39,473$17,142$22,3316.95%93.05%1.00%
Delaware14$38,297$14,757$23,5406.24%93.76%0.90%
Mississippi15$38,178$9,654$28,52413.00%87.00%1.20%
Alabama16$38,143$10,116$28,02711.06%88.94%1.60%
Minnesota17$37,883$13,603$24,2805.49%94.51%1.00%
Arkansas18$37,551$10,345$27,20610.79%89.21%1.00%
Ohio19$36,310$13,805$22,5057.19%92.81%1.00%
North Dakota20$36,106$13,550$22,5569.52%90.48%0.20%
Montana21$35,770$12,105$23,66512.44%87.56%0.90%
Maryland22$35,183$14,644$20,5395.32%94.68%0.90%
Missouri23$34,914$11,249$23,6657.98%92.02%0.90%
Kentucky24$34,657$11,397$23,26011.29%88.71%1.00%
California25$34,580$14,053$20,5278.38%91.62%0.80%
Illinois26$34,218$17,340$16,8786.20%93.80%1.10%
Wisconsin27$33,058$12,466$20,5927.00%93.00%0.80%
Texas28$33,050$9,613$23,43710.54%89.46%0.80%
Nebraska29$32,923$13,004$19,9197.42%92.58%1.00%
Virginia30$32,832$12,905$19,9276.45%93.55%0.80%
Oklahoma31$32,206$9,512$22,69410.58%89.42%0.90%
Colorado32$32,067$11,540$20,5276.28%93.72%0.80%
Kansas33$30,992$12,697$18,2957.78%92.22%1.10%
North Carolina34$30,246$9,958$20,28810.88%89.12%0.70%
Louisiana35$29,392$11,691$17,70112.63%87.37%0.80%
Massachusetts36$29,342$18,269$11,0734.89%95.11%0.80%
Indiana37$28,054$10,019$18,0357.68%92.32%0.70%
Maine38$27,778$15,070$12,7086.62%93.38%0.90%
South Carolina39$27,635$10,658$16,9778.73%91.27%0.80%
Georgia40$27,441$10,769$16,6728.79%91.21%0.80%
Rhode Island41$27,417$17,024$10,3937.09%92.91%1.00%
South Dakota42$27,211$10,234$16,97713.87%86.13%0.80%
Utah43$26,327$7,478$18,8497.49%92.51%0.70%
West Virginia44$25,407$11,757$13,65010.90%89.10%0.90%
New Hampshire45$24,741$18,952$5,7895.30%94.70%0.90%
Nevada46$24,712$8,915$15,7978.52%91.48%0.60%
District of Columbia47$24,573$22,856$1,7176.66%93.34%0.50%
Tennessee48$24,226$9,546$14,68011.03%88.97%0.60%
Florida49$22,852$9,937$12,91511.40%88.60%0.60%
Arizona50$20,494$8,766$11,72812.44%87.56%0.60%
Idaho51$19,661$8,272$11,3899.63%90.37%0.70%

About the author:

Mike developed his passion for education as a math instructor at Penn State University. He expanded his educational experience launching and running an Executive Education business - training over 100,000 students per year. As the CEO of Learner, Mike focuses on accelerating learning and unleashing the potential of students. 

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