A Parent’s Guide to Education Reform (pdf file)
By Dan Lips, Jennifer Marshall, and Lindsey Burke
How much do American public schools spend per pupil?
American public schools spent an average of $9,266 per pupil during the 2004–2005 school year.19
How much does the U.S. Spend on K–12 education as a nation?
The United States spent $600 billion on K–12 education in 2006—about 4.5 percent of our gross domestic product.20
How many students are in K–12 public schools?
About 50 million students attend American public schools.21
What is the average public school teacher salary?
In 2004, the average public school teacher’s salary was $44,400.22
Who earns a higher hourly wage—public school teachers or mechanical engineers?
Public school teachers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005. BLS estimates that mechanical engineers earn $31.93 per hour.23
What percentage of public education funding is spent on classroom expenditures?
61 cents out of every dollar currently spent in American public schools is for instruction.24
What is the average class size in American public schools?
There are 16 students for each teacher in the average public school.25
What percentage of all public school staff are non-teaching employees or administrators?
Non-teaching employees and administrators account for 49 percent of all public school staff.26
What percentage of government funding for education comes from the state, federal, and local governments?
46.9 percent of public school revenue comes from state government. 44 percent of funding comes from local government. Only 9.2 percent comes from the federal government.27
What percentage of American 8th graders cannot read?
26 percent of 8th grade students scored “below basic” on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading exam.28
What is the percentage of American adults who are illiterate?
The U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that 14 percent of American adults scored “below basic” in literacy, meaning that they could not perform simple everyday tasks that required reading or writing.29
19 U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics: 2007, Table 171, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_171.asp?referrer=list.
20 Ibid., Table 25, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_025.asp?referrer=list.
21 Ibid., Table 33, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_033.asp?referrer=list.
22 Ibid., Table 72, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_072.asp?referrer=list.
23 Jay P. Greene and Marcus Winters, “How Much Are Public School Teachers Paid?” Manhattan Institute Civic Report No. 50, January 2007, at http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_50.htm.
24 Author calculations based on average spending on instruction divided by total current expenditures. U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics: 2007, Table 172, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_172.asp?referrer=list.
25 Ibid., Table 60, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_060.asp?referrer=list.
26 Ibid., Table 80 at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_080.asp?referrer=list.
27 Ibid., Table 162, at http://www.nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_162.asp?referrer=list.
28 U.S. Department of Education, Reading Report Card, 2005.
29 U.S. Department of Education, NCES, “2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy,” at http://nces.ed.gov/naal/index.asp.