Pettus: Census report outlines school spending

The report ( uses information from fiscal year 2011, which ran from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, in Mississippi and most other states. A few states have budget years that run from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

“The 50 states and the District of Columbia spent $10,560 per student in 2011, down 0.4 percent from 2010,” according to a news release that accompanies the Census Bureau report. “The top spenders were New York ($19,076), the District of Columbia ($18,475), Alaska ($16,674), New Jersey ($15,968) and Vermont ($15,925).”

To find Mississippi, look all the way to the bottom of the list: “States spending the least per student were Mississippi ($7,928), Arizona ($7,666), Oklahoma ($7,587), Idaho ($6,824) and Utah ($6,212).”

Curious about per student spending for Mississippi’s neighboring states?

It was $8,242 in Tennessee, $8,813 in Alabama, $9,353 in Arkansas and $10,723 in Louisiana.

Mississippi’s education spending dropped 2.4 percent from fiscal year 2010 to FY 2011, the report says.

Emily Wagster Pettus
Clarion Ledger