An Overview of Public School Funding in Washington

Operating expenditures for Washington’s K-12 public schools have increased almost 92 percent in real terms since 1982, even though student population has increased by only 36 percent. In 2005, Washington taxpayers spent about $9,500 per public school student. In contrast, private schools typically spend around $6,000 per student. Even taking the differences in their missions into account, public schools still spend over 50 percent more per student than private schools, and generally achieve poorer academic results.

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