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U.S. spends average of $8,701 per pupil on education

WASHINGTON(Reuters) -- The United States spent an average of $8,701 per pupil to educate its children in 2005, the Census Bureau said Thursday, with some states paying more than twice as much per student as others.

New York was the biggest spender on education, at $14,119 per student, with New Jersey second at $13,800 and Washington, D.C., third at $12,979, the Census Bureau said. Seven of the top 10 education spenders were Northeastern states.

The states with the lowest spending were Utah, at $5,257 per pupil, Arizona $6,261, Idaho $6,283, Mississippi $6,575 and Oklahoma $6,613. The 10 states with the lowest education spending were in the West or South.

Overall the United States spent an average of $8,701 per student on elementary and secondary education in 2005, up 5 percent from $8,287 the previous year, the bureau said.

Funding is largely a state and local responsibility under the U.S. system, with 47 percent coming from state governments, 43.9 percent from local sources and only 9.1 percent from the federal government.

Students in northeastern and northern states tend to perform better on standardized tests than students in southern and southwestern states. But experts say the correlation between spending and testing performance is not strong.

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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