With California students returning from summer break, attention turns once again to the level of support provided to the state’s K-12 schools. A common way of assessing K-12 spending in California is to compare it to that in other states. Yet, the variety of available data sources on the topic often leads to greater confusion than clarity.
A new Issue Brief from the Budget Center looks at the four major sources of national information on K-12 school spending — the National Education Association, the National Center for Education Statistics, the US Census Bureau, and Education Week — and discusses how they differ along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
In addition to showing why different data sources yield different state rankings with regard to K-12 spending per student, the brief discusses more useful alternative measures for evaluating the level of support California provides to its schools.
— Steven Bliss