Four Maryland Jurisdictions Rank Among Top Ten in U.S. Per Pupil Spending

Of the 100 largest school systems based on enrollment in the United States, Baltimore City, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County rank among the top ten nationally in per pupil spending.

The United States spent a total of $694.1 billion on public school systems in FY 2017, up 4.4% from FY 2016, according to Census Bureau statistics released today.

It was the largest yearly increase in total expenditures since 2008.

Overall, per pupil spending increased by 3.7% to $12,201 per pupil during the 2017 fiscal year, compared to $11,763 per pupil in 2016. Maryland ranked 14th in per pupil spending in 2017, according to the report.

School systems are spending more on teachers. Instructional salaries totaled $229.2 billion in FY 2017, accounting for 33.0% of total spending.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Of the 50 states, New York ($23,091), the District of Columbia ($21,974), Connecticut ($19,322), New Jersey ($18,920) and Vermont ($18,290) spent the most per pupil in 2017.
  • Of the 100 largest school systems based on enrollment in the United States, the five school systems with the highest spending per pupil in 2017 were New York City School District in New York ($25,199), Boston City Schools in Massachusetts ($22,292), Baltimore City Schools in Maryland ($16,184), Montgomery County School District in Maryland ($16,109), and Howard County School District in Maryland ($15,921). Maryland had one additional school system in the top 10, making it four of the top 10 school systems in the United States. To see the top 10 school districts by current spending per pupil, see the graphic Top 10 Largest School Districts by Enrollment and Per Pupil Current Spending.
  • Within public school systems, New Mexico (14.4%), Mississippi (14.1%), Alaska (14.0%), Arizona (13.7%) and South Dakota (12.8%) received the highest percentage of their revenues from the federal government, while public school systems in New Jersey (4.1%), Massachusetts (4.3%), Connecticut (4.3%), Minnesota (5.2%) and New York (5.3%) received the lowest.

These statistics come from the 2017 Census of Governments: Finance — Annual Survey of School System Finances. Education finance data include revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) of elementary and secondary (prekindergarten through 12th grade) public school systems.

Statistics cover school systems in 50 states and the District of Columbia. These statistics are not adjusted for cost-of-living differences between geographic areas.

Read the full report for more information.