More On Education Spending

Following up on my previous post on education spending, here are some more data on the issue. Last time, I broke down the state's per pupil spending into several categories, and made comparisons to spending nationwide. I found that for the most part, education spending in West Virginia is about on par with spending nationally, with a few notable exceptions: 

Function (2010) WV U.S. Difference WV Rank
Total $11,527 $10,600 $927 17
Instruction - Salaries and Wages $3,821 $4,277 -$455 32
Instruction - Benefits $2,490 $1,468 $1,023 3
Instruction - Other $646 $682 -$36 22
Pupil Support Services $499 $578 -$78 31
Instructional Staff Support Services $404 $501 -$98 36
General Administration $222 $194 $27 25
School Administration $595 $562 $33 17
Operation & Maintenance $1,131 $986 $145 13
Pupil Transportation $815 $448 $366 3
Other Support Services $185 $354 -$169 43
All Other Functions $719 $550 $169 7

Now let's look at the same categories, but this time from 2000 instead of 2010

Function (2000) WV US Difference WV Rank
Total $7,093 $6,836 $257 17
Instruction - Salaries and Wages $2,886 $3,027 -$142 23
Instruction - Benefits $1,153 $761 $393 5
Instruction - Other $256 $376 -$120 44
Pupil Support Services $228 $330 -$101 44
Instructional Staff Support Services $201 $306 -$105 45
General Administration $181 $135 $46 18
School Administration $383 $383 -$1 26
Operation & Maintenance $726 $650 $76 13
Pupil Transportation $455 $280 $175 4
Other Support Services $95 $212 -$117 44
All Other Functions $529 $377 $152 4

As you can see, West Virginia's overall rank is unchanged at 17, and while we rank high in benefits and transportation expenditures, we rank low- or mid-range for most other categories. And as for which areas are growing the fastest, it comes as no surprise:

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Total per pupil spending in West Virginia has grown faster than the rest of the country, however, West Virginia remains 17th overall. Instruction Benefits has been the fastest growing category both nationally and in West Virginia, with spending in West Virginia outpacing spending nationwide, due in part to the unfunded liability pay down. Support service spending, both pupil and instructor, has grown faster in West Virginia than it has nationwide, but West Virginia still spends $345 less per pupil than what is spent nationally in this category. Pupil transportation spending has also grown faster in West Virginia than it has nationally.

Instruction salaries (which is the biggest piece of the pie), on the other hand, has grown slower in West Virginia than it has nationally. The gap in per pupil instruction salary spending between the national average and WV has grown from $142 in 2000 to $445 in 2010. Other categories have experienced relatively similar growth.


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