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?