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Public school student spending

The nation’s average was $11,841 per student. Florida’s district-by-district average was $9,231.

Graphic by Alyson Hurt & Katie Park

By Ken Wackes December 2016

Although the data released in April 2016 is dated, the data shows a wide spectrum. An NPR Report states, “On average, New York, Alaska, and Wyoming each spent more than $17,000 per student in 2013, while California, Oklahoma and Nevada spent roughly half that.”

The nation’s PPE average was $11,841. Florida’d district by district average was $9,231. See the interactive Florida map, where district by district expenditures are given for 2013.

On average, dollars to support public schools comes from three sources: 45 percent local money, 45 percent from the state and 10 percent federal.

Increasingly the oft-stated maxim by Christian schools, “We do more with less,” is not in some cases viable any longer. However, the larger enrollments in public schools impact greatly the percentage of PPE that can be devoted to teacher and administrator salaries. Hence, while your school’s tuition rates might be greater than the local public PPE, your faculty salaries probably still lag behind. You have to operate a whole “district.”

A rule of thumb is when salaries in a Christian school fall lower than 85% of local public school salaries, morale might take a hit and a decline in the number of family primary income producers on the faculty might develop. This is of particular import for secondary schools.

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