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Superintendent Luna: Per-Student Funding Isn’t The Only Measure Of Success

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Idaho's public schools spent $7,106 per-student in 2010.

Idaho spent less on each public school child in 2010 than 48 other states.  That’s according to a new report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

On average, public school systems across the U.S. spent $10,615 per student, while Idaho spent $7,106 from 2009–2010.

Idaho’s public school superintendent Tom Luna says the amount of money a state spends per child isn’t a silver bullet to high academic achievement.  “It is a factor, but not the most important factor,” says Luna. 

“If the amount of money you spend per child equals a high quality education system than Washington DC would have the best schools in the country by far because they spend more than anybody else, and none of us would send our children to a public school in Washington, DC,” Luna says.

The report shows public schools in the District of Columbia did spend the most per student, at $18,667 in 2010.  D.C. was followed by New York ($18,618), New Jersey ($16,841), Alaska ($15,783), Vermont ($15,274) and Wyoming ($15,169).

Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Oklahoma spent the least per student from 2009–2010, respectively.

Luna says Idaho spends its resources effectively, saying Idaho’s schools perform well on standardized math and reading tests.

“If we only focus on more and more money and don’t focus on results…we’re never going to meet our responsibilities in education,” Luna says.


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