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States spending the most & least per student on education

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Anchor School

States spending the most & least per student on education

People have been hearing the same narrative for years now: the cost of higher education is on the rise. You’d think that as colleges face more applications they’d be able to lower their costs, but the reality is only a small number of prospective students can afford the steep price tags of the average private four-year university - and it’s up to colleges to lure them in.

With higher education becoming increasingly competitive, expensive, and generally stressful, many parents wonder how well their children are being prepared for the application process. Some spend thousands in private tutoring that focuses on standardized tests and college essays, a luxury the majority can’t afford. When many can’t throw excess finances at their child’s preparation, the question is raised of how much a state is able to put towards education.

At Stacker, we evaluated U.S. Census data to determine which states put the most towards their primary and secondary education systems. We ranked the states by the most they spent per pupil in the year of 2015 (the most recent year available) and included breakdowns such as pupil support provided per student to show you exactly what public funds are put towards.

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Doug Dolde // Wikicommons

#51: Utah

Total spent per pupil: $6,575

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $3,875

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,839

Pupil support provided per pupil: $243

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $263

General administrative costs per pupil: $64

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Heritage Community Charter School

#50: Idaho

Total spent per pupil: $6,923

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $4,139

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,495

Pupil support provided per pupil: $389

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $328

General administrative costs per pupil: $152

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Julius Reque // Wikicommons

#49: Arizona

Total spent per pupil: $7,489

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $4,467

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,413

Pupil support provided per pupil: $593

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $409

General administrative costs per pupil: $106

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PxHere

#48: Oklahoma

Total spent per pupil: $8,082

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $4,480

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,523

Pupil support provided per pupil: $551

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $319

General administrative costs per pupil: $237

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Woodlot

#47: Mississippi

Total spent per pupil: $8,456

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $4,980

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,706

Pupil support provided per pupil: $430

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $395

General administrative costs per pupil: $275

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Christopher Boswell // Shutterstock

#46: Nevada

Total spent per pupil: $8,615

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,144

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,041

Pupil support provided per pupil: $458

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $517

General administrative costs per pupil: $112

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brandon walker // Wikicommons

#45: North Carolina

Total spent per pupil: $8,687

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,466

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,837

Pupil support provided per pupil: $470

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $280

General administrative costs per pupil: $95

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Aviator31 // Wikicommons

#44: Tennessee

Total spent per pupil: $8,726

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,200

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,726

Pupil support provided per pupil: $402

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $533

General administrative costs per pupil: $192

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Pixabay

#43: Texas

Total spent per pupil: $8,861

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,047

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,059

Pupil support provided per pupil: $451

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $461

General administrative costs per pupil: $133

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Pixabay

#42: Florida

Total spent per pupil: $8,881

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,046

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,561

Pupil support provided per pupil: $388

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $572

General administrative costs per pupil: $80

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Seabear70 // Wikicommons

#41: South Dakota

Total spent per pupil: $8,937

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,373

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,566

Pupil support provided per pupil: $493

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $332

General administrative costs per pupil: $313

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Rivers A. Langley // Wikicommons

#40: Alabama

Total spent per pupil: $9,128

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,139

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,073

Pupil support provided per pupil: $548

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $391

General administrative costs per pupil: $245

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Galyna Andrushko // Shutterstock

#39: Colorado

Total spent per pupil: $9,245

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,827

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,614

Pupil support provided per pupil: $467

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $569

General administrative costs per pupil: $151

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GoodFreePhotos

#38: Georgia

Total spent per pupil: $9,427

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,703

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,031

Pupil support provided per pupil: $447

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $490

General administrative costs per pupil: $117

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Anchor School

#37: Kentucky

Total spent per pupil: $9,630

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,858

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,355

Pupil support provided per pupil: $456

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $545

General administrative costs per pupil: $249

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John Schanlaub // Wikicommons

#36: Indiana

Total spent per pupil: $9,687

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,337

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,889

Pupil support provided per pupil: $471

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $374

General administrative costs per pupil: $195

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Luke Cureton // Flickr

#35: Arkansas

Total spent per pupil: $9,694

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,717

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,630

Pupil support provided per pupil: $510

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $821

General administrative costs per pupil: $226

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Thomas Shahan // Wikimedia Commons

#34: New Mexico

Total spent per pupil: $9,752

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,634

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,980

Pupil support provided per pupil: $946

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $249

General administrative costs per pupil: $194

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Pixabay

#33: South Carolina

Total spent per pupil: $9,953

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,801

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,074

Pupil support provided per pupil: $804

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $618

General administrative costs per pupil: $97

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Kurtwfan13 // Wikimedia Commons

#32: Kansas

Total spent per pupil: $10,040

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,911

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,831

Pupil support provided per pupil: $520

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $401

General administrative costs per pupil: $241

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Max Pixel

#31: Missouri

Total spent per pupil: $10,147

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,322

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,931

Pupil support provided per pupil: $465

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $463

General administrative costs per pupil: $356

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Steven Pavlov // WIkicommons

#30: Oregon

Total spent per pupil: $10,442

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,422

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,109

Pupil support provided per pupil: $753

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $416

General administrative costs per pupil: $144

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PAUS

#29: California

Total spent per pupil: $10,467

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,203

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,401

Pupil support provided per pupil: $574

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $613

General administrative costs per pupil: $100

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George Washington Academy

#28: Washington

Total spent per pupil: $10,735

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,435

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,317

Pupil support provided per pupil: $727

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $800

General administrative costs per pupil: $117

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Alan Light // Flickr

#27: Iowa

Total spent per pupil: $10,944

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,936

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,309

Pupil support provided per pupil: $631

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $579

General administrative costs per pupil: $280

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Pixabay

#26: Louisiana

Total spent per pupil: $11,010

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,924

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,046

Pupil support provided per pupil: $680

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $582

General administrative costs per pupil: $286

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Prizrak 2084 // Wikicommons

#25: Montana

Total spent per pupil: $11,028

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,371

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $1,972

Pupil support provided per pupil: $725

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $415

General administrative costs per pupil: $360

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Fearisstrong // Wikicommons

#24: Virginia

Total spent per pupil: $11,237

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,982

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,751

Pupil support provided per pupil: $568

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $729

General administrative costs per pupil: $180

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Steve Heap // Shutterstock

#23: West Virginia

Total spent per pupil: $11,359

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,274

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,135

Pupil support provided per pupil: $569

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $517

General administrative costs per pupil: $210

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Good Free Photos

#22: Wisconsin

Total spent per pupil: $11,375

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,353

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,816

Pupil support provided per pupil: $566

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $601

General administrative costs per pupil: $327

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John McCormick // Shutterstock

#21: Michigan

Total spent per pupil: $11,482

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $5,775

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,568

Pupil support provided per pupil: $923

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $572

General administrative costs per pupil: $190

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Pixabay

#20: Ohio

Total spent per pupil: $11,637

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,893

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,663

Pupil support provided per pupil: $799

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $514

General administrative costs per pupil: $337

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Mike Tigas // Wikicommons

#19: Nebraska

Total spent per pupil: $11,946

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $6,935

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,385

Pupil support provided per pupil: $555

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $375

General administrative costs per pupil: $344

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Dave Parker // Wikicommons

#18: Minnesota

Total spent per pupil: $11,949

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,486

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,521

Pupil support provided per pupil: $342

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $594

General administrative costs per pupil: $424

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Janine Sprout // Wikicommons

#17: Hawaii

Total spent per pupil: $12,855

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,178

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,803

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,239

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $446

General administrative costs per pupil: $70

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Chandra Hari // Wikicommons

#16: Maine

Total spent per pupil: $13,257

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,853

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,345

Pupil support provided per pupil: $936

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $681

General administrative costs per pupil: $481

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RRuntsch //Shutterstock

#15: North Dakota

Total spent per pupil: $13,320

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,683

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,771

Pupil support provided per pupil: $517

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $499

General administrative costs per pupil: $562

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Pixabay

#14: Illinois

Total spent per pupil: $13,755

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,130

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $4,228

Pupil support provided per pupil: $941

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $537

General administrative costs per pupil: $536

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GoingBatty // Wikicommons

#13: Delaware

Total spent per pupil: $14,120

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,699

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,814

Pupil support provided per pupil: $602

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $265

General administrative costs per pupil: $152

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Good Free Photos

#12: Maryland

Total spent per pupil: $14,192

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $8,377

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,754

Pupil support provided per pupil: $669

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $749

General administrative costs per pupil: $135

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PxHere

#11: New Hampshire

Total spent per pupil: $14,697

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $8,052

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,608

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,145

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $471

General administrative costs per pupil: $529

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Good Free Photos

#10: Pennsylvania

Total spent per pupil: $14,717

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $7,718

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $4,179

Pupil support provided per pupil: $807

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $507

General administrative costs per pupil: $433

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Wikipedia

#9: Rhode Island

Total spent per pupil: $15,179

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $8,860

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $4,048

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,709

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $557

General administrative costs per pupil: $203

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Tupungato // Shutterstock

#8: Massachusetts

Total spent per pupil: $15,592

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $9,585

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $3,695

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,233

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $889

General administrative costs per pupil: $212

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Pixabay

#7: Wyoming

Total spent per pupil: $16,055

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $9,495

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $4,041

Pupil support provided per pupil: $940

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $907

General administrative costs per pupil: $328

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Jbailhe // WIkicommons

#6: Vermont

Total spent per pupil: $18,039

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $10,270

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $4,425

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,506

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $838

General administrative costs per pupil: $40

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Creative Family // Shutterstock

#5: New Jersey

Total spent per pupil: $18,235

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $10,557

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $4,646

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,997

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $596

General administrative costs per pupil: $371

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Max Pixel

#4: Connecticut

Total spent per pupil: $18,377

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $10,265

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $5,128

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,203

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $580

General administrative costs per pupil: $420

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Wikipedia

#3: District of Columbia

Total spent per pupil: $19,396

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $13,497

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $2,486

Pupil support provided per pupil: $774

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $1,443

General administrative costs per pupil: $2,170

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Ian D. Keating // Flickr

#2: Alaska

Total spent per pupil: $20,172

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $8,245

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $7,765

Pupil support provided per pupil: $1,638

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $1,396

General administrative costs per pupil: $276

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Kolitha de Silva // Flickr

#1: New York

Total spent per pupil: $21,206

Salaries and wages paid per pupil: $11,529

Employee benefits paid per pupil: $6,256

Pupil support provided per pupil: $652

Instructional staff support provided per pupil: $529

General administrative costs per pupil: $339

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