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What Americans Think about Public Education

October 27, 2016
  • People Misunderstand School Funding

    Americans think their local schools are underfunded compared to schools nationally. The 2016 EdNext Poll, a national survey, found that people estimate that their local district spends $7,020 per year per child, compared to a guess of $8,484 nationally. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the United States spends about $12,000 per year per child on average. 

    The 2015 EdNext Poll found that people think the federal government pays for a third of America’s education budget — and should pay even more. In reality, though, the federal government currently contributes about 10%. 


    Education Next — Survey 2016, Questions 4 and 5
    Education Next — Program on Education Policy and Governance — Survey 2015, Questions 6, 8, 10, and 11
    National Center for Education Statistics: Fast Facts, Expenditures
    National Center for Education Statistics: Public School Revenue Sources, April 2016