How much does the US spend on education? According to the most recent OECD data, the United States spent over $12,800 per student on elementary and secondary education in 2015. Government expenditure by publicly available sources, such as federally insured student loans and Department of Education direct loans, is included in the spending estimate.

The report also revealed the amount of money spent on K-12 and post-secondary education in the United States. We created this post based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2018 edition report on how much the United States spends on education.

How Much Does the US Spend on Education: The Figures

Education spending in the United States misses the mark of worldwide standards prescribed by organizations like UNESCO. Education receives only 11.6 percent of government financing, significantly below the international level of 15.00 percent. However, the United States spends more than any other country on postsecondary education, at $33,180 per full-time student. Let’s take a look at the whole breakdown of the country’s education spending.

US Education Spending Statistics

Local governments, state budgets, and the federal government all contribute to public education funding in the United States. It is common for spending totals to fall short of public financing totals, or vice versa.
At the national level, public education funds 49.4 million K-12 students and 19.4 million postsecondary students. Kindergarten through 12th grade pupils are referred to as K-12 students. K-12 is an American term that refers to the years from kindergarten to secondary school. So with this information, how much does US spend on education? With this funding, where does the US rank in education?

Consider the following statistics:

Public schools spend $14,455 per kid in primary and secondary school (K-12). The total cost of these schools is $586.4 billion. Expenditures account for 3.53 percent of taxpayer earnings.
The federal government gives K-12 schools a total of $40.83 billion, or $1,009 per kid. K-12 public education costs the states a total of $274.7 billion, or $6,789 per student. Total contributions from local governments amount to $269.3 billion, or $6,656 per student.

In the United States, federal public education funding amounts to 0.20 percent of total taxpayer revenue. 2.62 percent of financing comes from the state and local governments.

K-12 public education costs $584.9 billion, or $14,418 per pupil, according to federal, state, and local budgets. The gap between spending and funding is $1.50 billion, or $37 per student.
In the United States, school tuition accounts for 19.90% of total funding.

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Auxiliary enterprise sales and services account for 7.09 percent of all postsecondary funding. In a given year, 2-year community schools spend 15.32 percent of what 4-year public universities do.

How the Data Compares:

In the United States, schools spend an average of $12,624 per student. Among the 37 other industrialized countries in the OECD, this is the seventh greatest sum per pupil. The US comes 12th among OECD members in terms of spending on primary education as a proportion of GDP.

The United States falls short of UNESCO’s target of 15.00 percent of total public spending on education.
The United States is one of six (6) countries that do not record any educational spending for children under the age of six.
In terms of postsecondary education, the US spends 2.6 percent of its GDP on overall college and university spending.

Luxembourg expenditures more on education per kid than any of the other OECD countries ($22,700). In terms of a percentage of GDP, African countries spend the most on education.
The United States spends a lower percentage of its GDP on education than other industrialized countries, at 4.96 percent. In the United States, educational spending accounts for 5.59 percent of GDP.

Education Spending in the United States

We’re still in the topic: How much does the US spend on education? Take a look at the data on education spending in the United States.
In terms of information obtained via education, American students perform significantly poorer than many of their colleagues around the world. On OECD standardized mathematics tests, 15-year-olds in the United States placed 31st, according to statistics from the Programme for International Student Assessment. In addition, their reading and science test scores were well below average.

Prior to the OECD research, the United States was one of only five countries in the OECD to slash education funding.
According to the 2017 OECD report, education investment in the United States fell by 3% between 2010 and 2014.


Finally, let’s take a look at some of the report’s key findings about the amount of money spent on education in the United States. According to statistics, US public education spending comes up short of international benchmarks and trails behind productivity expansion.

The United States spends about $700 billion on public education, with significant investments in educational infrastructure. With all of this in mind, it’s maybe astonishing that, despite tremendous spending, the US education system has so many flaws. In terms of academic accomplishment, the country trails below the majority of other industrialized nations.

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