In 2014, pupil transportation spending amounted to $23.9 billion out of a total expenditure of $613.6 billion by public school systems nationwide. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In 2014, pupil transportation spending amounted to $23.9 billion out of a total expenditure of $613.6 billion by public school systems nationwide. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Elementary and secondary education revenue were up 3.3% nationally in fiscal year 2014, amounting to $617.6 billion, according to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This is the largest increase in total revenue since 2008, when there was a 4.1% increase from the prior year,” said Stephen Wheeler, an analyst at the Census Bureau. “School system revenue comes from federal, state, and local government sources.”

Per-pupil spending for the nation was $11,009, a 2.7% increase from 2013. This was the largest increase in per-pupil spending since 2008, when there was a 6.1% increase from the year prior. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New York spent the highest per pupil, at $20,610, while Utah came in the lowest at $6,500.

Per-pupil spending includes gross school system expenditure for instruction, support services, and non-instructional functions, including direct expenditure for salaries, employee benefits, student transportation, building maintenance, purchased property, and other services and supplies.

Following New York, the highest spending per pupil in 2014 was in the District of Columbia at $18,485, Alaska at $18,416, New Jersey at $17,907, and Connecticut at $17,745.

After Utah, the states spending the least per pupil were Idaho at $6,621, Arizona at $7,528, Oklahoma at $7,829, and Mississippi at $8,263.

The findings come from the “Public Education Finances: 2014 report,” which provides figures on revenues, expenditures, debt, and assets (cash and security holdings) for the nation’s elementary and secondary public school systems. The report and tables, released annually, include detailed statistics on spending — such as instruction, student transportation, salaries, and employee benefits — at the national, state, and school district levels.

Total expenditure by public school systems was $613.6 billion in fiscal year 2014, up 2.6% from 2013. Public education expenditure categories include instructional spending, support services spending, capital outlay, and other current spending. Total school district debt increased by 0.5% from the prior year.

Pupil transportation, which falls under support services spending, amounted to $23.9 billion nationwide in 2014. That’s 3.9% of the total expenditure by public school systems.

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