US education spending: States that spend the most, least

New York’s lackluster graduation rate is higher than just 10 other states

New York pours more money into its public education system than any other state, but has one of the worst graduation rates in the nation.

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That’s according to a study published by education website HeyTutor, which found that New York has spent, in total, $63.62 billion on education, or roughly $23,091 per student. Despite that, the state’s graduation rate is just 81.8 percent.

New York’s lackluster graduation rate is higher than just 10 other states: Alaska, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico, Colorado and Washington, D.C.

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Interestingly, states that spent less on education didn’t necessarily see lower graduation rates. For instance, Utah spent the least money per student -- just $7,197 per student, or $4.28 billion in total -- but had a solid graduation rate of 86 percent. Still, Idaho spent only $7,486 per student, but also had one of the lowest graduation rates in the country: 79.7 percent. Oklahoma, meanwhile, spent an estimated $7,940 on each student, but had a graduation rate of 82.6 percent.

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“While teacher salaries are directly affected by school funding, the correlation between student performance and education funding is more complex,” the report said. “States that spend more per student aren’t more likely to have better outcomes. The nationwide high school graduation rate is 84.6 percent, and at the state level, there is no clear correlation with per pupil spending.”

Iconic skyscrapers in New York City.

In terms of the biggest spenders, Washington, D.C. nabbed second place, pouring roughly $1.15 billion into education, or about $21,974 per student. It was followed by Connecticut, which spent $19,322 per student, or a total of $9.92 billion.

The study was based on analytics from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Education Statistics and the Nation’s Report Card and looked at per pupil spending, as well as academic performance across all states.

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