The High Price of Education

Education at its best.

Jaemin Kim, Staff Writer

Schools across the United States spend billions of dollars to ensure students perform their best. 


How much money actually goes into public education and what can be improved? 


K-12 schools in the United States spend nearly 667 billion dollars, this gives around 13,185 dollars to each student annually. Post high school, colleges and universities spend around 28,977 dollars on each student. All of these funds come from the federal, state, and local governments. The state and local governments each pay half of the total cost of money for schools, while the government pays with a portion of the amount from taxes with property tax being the largest source. President Joe Biden signed into law appropriations giving more than $76 billion for the department of education making it the largest increase in federal education programs in a decade. Globally, education spendings varies. It can be anywhere from 1,514 dollars per student to 12,892 per student. 


In Michigan, schools K-12 spend $12,053 per student and a total of $18,128,540,000 annually. State funding contributes about $13 billion while local funding contributes about $9 billion dollars. College tuition also contributes to the funding for schools in which they take 25.3% which is 7.22% higher than last year’s contribution. Public schools obviously don’t charge tuition and aren’t funded by private organizations. The funds all go to cover classes and teachers salaries. In 2022, a teachers salary had an average of about $55,338 making Michigan 41st in the nation for average teacher salary. High school classes all vary depending on their level of education. The harder classes would cost more per student such as an Advanced Placement class where it costs $947 more than a regular class and $360 more than an honors class. With the addition of textbooks and school libraries, different schools have to be cautious about budget spendings. Clubs, activities, and sports also have a big contribution to the schools budget making it harder to strategize with high demand and low supply. These numbers will vary depending on the circumstances of the world and the schools and with the pandemic in 2020, many schools across the country gained a stimulus to better provide for teachers and students but also schools averaged a 13.5% decrease in education spendings during this time. Basic equipment is provided such as tables and desks, but students tend to never think of how expensive K-12 schools really are and should be more thoughtful when using equipment provided by the school. To improve we should minimize the misuse of items in classrooms leading to damage or replacement. It is important to understand that these are provided to you and not just free given by the school. 


Education across the United States can be very costly going as low as $7,951 and as high as $24,881. Schools spend billions of dollars perfecting your education and preparing you for your future to make you as successful as ever.