NEA: NC is 42nd (not 49th) in per pupil spending

I have spent months countering the “49th in the nation myth,” a talking point manufactured by public school advocacy groups to attack the budget approved by the NC General Assembly last year.  At long last, the National Education Association (NEA) has released Rankings of the States 2011 and Estimates of School Statistics 2012, which should set the record straight.

According to the NEA study, North Carolina ranked 42nd in per pupil expenditure for the current (2011-2012) school year (see table below).

Interestingly, North Carolina’s 2011-2012 ranking (42nd) is higher than the state’s NEA rankings for the 2010-2011 (45th) and 2009-2010 (43rd) school years.  (See Rankings 2011 and Estimates 2012, pp. 54-55, 67)

For intellectually honest progressives, the latest NEA study should settle the question of where North Carolina ranks in per pupil spending.  However, I suspect that the myth will continue to be cited by Democrats and their enablers.

Jurisdiction

Per pupil expenditures

Rank

New York

$18,616

1

Vermont

$18,571

2

New Jersey

$18,486

3

Alaska

$17,540

4

Rhode Island

$16,683

5

Wyoming

$16,666

6

Maryland

$15,978

7

Maine

$15,836

8

Connecticut

$15,514

9

Massachusetts

$15,213

10

New Hampshire

$14,587

11

Delaware

$14,396

12

District of Columbia

$13,952

13

Pennsylvania

$13,904

14

Arkansas

$12,779

15

Michigan

$12,457

16

Minnesota

$12,377

17

Illinois

$12,368

18

Wisconsin

$12,178

19

Hawaii

$11,921

20

West Virginia

$11,748

21

Indiana

$11,577

22

Virginia

$11,192

23

New Mexico

$11,118

24

Oregon

$10,897

25

Nebraska

$10,877

26

Montana

$10,309

27

Georgia

$10,112

28

Washington

$10,098

29

Louisiana

$9,998

30

Ohio

$9,888

31

Missouri

$9,760

32

Colorado

$9,676

33

Kentucky

$9,636

34

California

$9,541

35

Kansas

$9,518

36

Iowa

$9,462

37

South Carolina

$9,260

38

South Dakota

$9,214

39

North Dakota

$9,169

40

Mississippi

$9,060

41

North Carolina

$8,565

42

Tennessee

$8,464

43

Alabama

$8,405

44

Idaho

$8,323

45

Oklahoma

$8,306

46

Texas

$8,265

47

Nevada

$8,247

48

Florida

$8,180

49

Utah

$6,849

50

Arizona

$6,683

51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: National Education Association, “Rankings of the States 2011 and Estimates of School Statistics 2012,” December 2011, http://www.nea.org/home/32073.htm, p. 67. Note: I use the “fall enrollment” PPE figures, as recommended by NEA researchers.)

2 comments

  1. Why in the world would anyone boast that NC is 42nd and not 49th…this is still a horrible position! This organization should be ashamed of themselves for even posting these numbers – “OH YAY We are 42nd and not 49th!” DISGUSTING! NC is still at the bottom of the barrel! Makes me sick that an organization is boasting these dismal numbers!

    Comment by kristinaelanie on February 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm

  2. I have to agree with kristinaelanie…why would NC boast about ranking 42nd and not 49th? We’re still in the bottom 10! You’ve got to be kidding me! Even West Virginia and Mississippi, historically well-known poor states, rank higher than we do! If anything, legislators should be ashamed of this ranking! As an NC teacher, I am!

    Comment by ncteacher on February 22, 2012 at 6:25 am

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