Public K-12 education has always been a contentious topic among political parties. Federal funding, the Common Core State Standards Initiative and more recently, voucher-like tax programs for private institutions are just a few of the issues debated when it comes to educational reform in our country.
Public elementary and secondary schools in the United States are funded through a combination of federal, state and local contributions, although the latter two constitute the majority of each state's educational funding. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, state and local funds make up about 44 percent each of the total school funding, with federal contributions at around 12 percent.
Each state's legislature follows their own rhyme and reason for the amount of funding designated towards public schools, and as a result some states have more school funding than others.
Experts at StartClass, an education data site powered by Graphiq, collected 2014 data (latest report) from the NCES Common Core of Data to rank states by state-level revenue per student in K-12 schools. Also included are the average high-school graduation rate, total number of students attending K-12 schools in the state and the student-teacher ratio.
The states with the most revenue per student often have lower student-teacher ratios. Although the revenue per student in no way reflects the quality of the education in a particular state, it is interesting to consider as a parent or student looking to find the best educational opportunity.