School spending in the states

School spending in the states, presented in an interactive visualization.

The Elementary/Secondary Information System (ElSi) is a project of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES is “the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.” Here is data from ElSi regarding per-pupil revenue and spending in the states.

There are measures for total expenditures and total current expenditures. The major difference is that the current expenditures measure does not include the cost of construction of schools and the expense of debt.

Data is available through the school year ending in 2018. Since these data series cover long periods, I’ve used the Consumer Price Index to adjust the figures for the effects of inflation. Each measure has a companion whose name starts with “i.” This is the value adjusted for inflation, based on the CPI. You may choose to view the values as reported by ElSi, which are in current dollars (not adjusted for inflation.) Or, you may use the “i.” measures, which are in constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars.

To learn more about the data and to access the visualization, click here.

The following example from the visualization presents spending for Kansas and some nearby states. The values represent spending per pupil. The chart has two panels to hold total current expenditures and total expenditures. Since these variables start with “i.” they are the inflation-adjusted values. Click charts for larger versions.

Click for larger.

The following chart holds Kansas data only and shows spending by category. It uses inflation-adjusted values.

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The following chart holds Kansas data only and shows revenue by category. It uses inflation-adjusted values.

Click for larger.

The following chart holds total spending per pupil for Kansas and some surrounding states. Besides showing total spending, it shows the percentage change in spending from the previous year.

Click for larger.

By using the interactive visualization, you can examine each of these charts in more detail and show different data to your liking.

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