Huckleberries Online

Is Idaho 50th Or 51st In Ed Spending?

Is Idaho No. 50 or No. 51 in education funding? It depends on what measure you use. But reports of Idaho’s dead-last ranking — and a recent fundraising email from gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff — do not tell the whole story. A May report from U.S. Census Bureau adds to the confusion. But it is clear on at least one point: Idaho spends less than 63 percent of the national average on K-12 education. The Census Bureau looks at two key metrics: revenue and spending. Revenue looks at how much money a state collects for K-12, from federal, state or local sources. By this measure, Idaho does come in at No. 51 for 2011-12 — lagging behind every other state and the District of Columbia — at $7,405 per pupil. Next lowest is Utah, at $7,607 per pupil. The national average is $12,331 per pupil. Spending looks at actual expenditures for 2011-12. Here Idaho manages to escape the basement. Per-pupil spending came to $6,659, beating out Utah’s $6,206 figure. The national average, however, was $10,608/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.

Question: Does it matter to you if Idaho ranks No. 50 or No. 51 in education spending?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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