Tracking K-12 Education Spending in California

An Updated Analysis

by John Anderson, Cathy Krop, Stephen J. Carroll


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Updates the authors' previous analysis of California school spending (MR-548-SFR), which covered 1992-93 to 1995-96. The authors detail the educational expenditures made by the California Department of Education, the county offices of education, the district offices of education, and the schools themselves. They find that district general-fund spending on classroom personnel and materials declined from about 62.5 percent in 1992-93 to a little less than 61 percent in 1995-96. This drop is almost entirely due to a drop in the share devoted to teacher salary and benefits; the share devoted to books and other materials and equipment increased over the time period. Spending on school site facilities increased from 11 percent to 11.5 percent, possibly because of the need to accommodate large enrollment increases, rather than because of repairs and improvements. The shares of other expenditures remained roughly constant. Per-pupil expenditure, after dropping in 1994-95, started to rise the next year but remained slightly below the 1992-93 level.

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