Cities Journal

Which Districts Spend The Most On Their Students?


There is a gigantic, almost surreal difference between how much money various school districts in the United States spend per student. We are talking hundred-fold differences here. Most people believe that the numbers are very simple and that the facts stemming from those numbers are always straightforward and logical.

For instance, you would think that the richest districts in the country (with the highest household income) would spend the most money on education and that the best-funded districts would also post the highest graduation rates. In reality, however, things are not that simple.

For one, 3 of the districts that spend the most money per student are Alaskan districts that are not even that well-off. The reason? The fact that the infrastructure is more expensive in Alaska and teachers are paid more to relocate there. When we are talking districts that spend the least on education, they do fall under poor-to-medium districts, there is no doubt about that. However, what needs to be said is that many of those school districts post graduation rates that are higher than in districts which spend 50 or 100 times more money on students.

All in all, it is safe to say that this is a very complex issue and one without a quick answer or solution.

Without any further ado, here are the 5 districts that spend the most and 5 that spend the least money per student on education.

The Most:

  1. Pocantico Hills Central School District, New York – $61,029
  2. Yukon Flats School District, Alaska – $47,448
  3. Lake And Peninsula School District, Alaska – $42,160
  4. North Slope Borough School District, Alaska – $37,211
  5. Montauk Union Free School District, New York – $36,576

The Least:

  1. Graham Public Schools, Oklahoma – $648
  2. Middleton School District, New Hampshire – $1,333
  3. Scio School District 95, Oregon – $2,195
  4. Lucerne Valley Unified School District, California – $3,168
  5. Maricopa Unified School District, California – $4,064
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