Census report: Idaho ranks next to last in per-pupil spending

The U.S. Census Bureau released some new numbers on public school spending Tuesday.

But the results are more of the same. For at least the sixth consecutive year, Idaho ranks next to last in the nation in per-pupil spending, ahead of only Utah.

The Census numbers look at 2017 spending. Idaho spent $7,486 per pupil. The national average was $12,201.

In other words, for every dollar spent per-pupil nationally, Idaho spends 61 cents.

One silver lining: Idaho’s per-pupil spending did increase by 4.6 percent, compared to a 3.8 percent increase nationally. And as the Census Bureau noted in a Tuesday news release, Idaho’s overall school spending increased by 7.6 percent, trailing only the District of Columbia, Texas and Nevada.

But there was one area where Idaho ranked last in the nation: the amount of revenue collected  — not spent — per student. Here, Utah does leapfrog Idaho.

Idaho perennially lands at or near the bottom of national rankings in per-pupil spending. In a report last month, the National Education Association ranked Idaho last in per-pupil spending — even though the union found that, in recent years, Idaho has awarded some of the most robust teacher pay raises in the nation.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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