INDIANAPOLIS —Indiana, on average, spent less money per public school student in 2017 than most states.
According to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana ranked 36th at $10,045 per student.
In Indiana, most ($5,814) of the money per student went to instruction cost, meaning teacher wages and benefits. The rest went toward pupil support, instruction support, general administration and school administration.
The top states in spending per student were New York ($23,091), Washington, D.C. ($21,974), Connecticut ($19,322) New Jersey ($18,920) and Vermont ($18,290). The five lowest in spending per capita were Utah ($7,179), Idaho ($7,486), Oklahoma ($7,940) and Arizona ($8,003).
The reasons for such disparities in states can vary. The amount school districts spend is more a function of the money available than the actual costs of educating students, Marguerite Roza, director of the Edunomics lab at Georgetown University said in a 2016 Governing.com article.
Other factors include teacher salaries, employee benefits, cost of living, demographics, class sizes and administrative costs.