U.S. Education Expenditure

June 3, 2008 at 9:18 pm 7 comments

I came across this graph of U.S. education expenditure, in 2001 constant dollars, on the website of futurist and “restless genius” Ray Kurzweil…

U.S. Education Expenditure

Click here to see more of Ray’s charts and to download the Excel spreadsheet detailing yearly U.S. expenditures on education from 1900 through 2002.

Play, think…
J.R. Atwood 


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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. educatorblog  |  June 3, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    What was your first reaction to the graph?

  • 2. J.R. Atwood  |  June 4, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I am curious to see how this tracks with the number of students enrolled in public school… No doubt there is so much more money spent on education because so many more students participate in the public education system — and for a longer time. I’d be interested to see how education expenditures, on a per pupil basis, has changed over time.

    It would also be interesting to see how the distribution of education expenditure has changed over time — e.g., how many cents of every dollar go to facilities, salary and benefits, textbooks and computers, etc. Without knowing these details, it is hard to really make much of a conclusion about what the increased public investment in public education really mean.

    But my hunch is that the reason much of our public education system is so fractured has nothing to do with funding — there is plenty of money available to provide a quality education. It’s the (mis)management of those funds. I think we have a public education system that is too top-heavy — there are too many administrators and layers of bureaucracy at the school district level.

  • 3. educatorblog  |  June 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Interesting. I’m doing a literature review about per pupil expenditure and achievement for an upcoming blog post. I’ve found a few studies that try to see what kinds of expenditures help achievement. I’ll keep you posted.

  • 4. J.R. Atwood  |  June 4, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Please do. Would be very much interested in your research. Where can I find your blog? Best, J.R.

  • 5. educatorblog  |  June 4, 2008 at 7:00 pm


  • 6. educatorblog  |  June 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I got the idea from a D-Ed Reckoning (http://d-edreckoning.blogspot.com/) post. If I had more time, I would flex my econometrics muscles and try to find a model.

  • 7. yopi diansatra  |  October 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    please help me, i need to have one or more journal about education expenditure budget in school of America(USA)..any one can help me? if you can, you can send the journal to my email(ipoy_infuss@yahoo.com.sg), thanks be fore.


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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

Play is the beginning of knowledge.

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