History made! ODU beats Virginia Tech in stunning upset, 49-35

The states that spend the most (and least) on public education

In the wake of multiple teacher strikes that have prompted national attention towards educators’ salaries and education spending, the U.S. Census Bureau just released its updated Annual Survey of School System Finances covering Fiscal Year 2016. According to the report, total current spending of public elementary-secondary school systems for the U.S. in 2016 was $587 billion, a 3.3% increase from 2015. With over 48 million students enrolled in school in the U.S., the per pupil current spending nationwide is $11,762, an increase of 3.2% since 2015.

Whether increased spending yields better outcomes or is a sign of bloated administrative costs is controversial. A recent study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley has indicated that higher education spending correlates with higher scores on the federal NAEP exam, while another study from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance reported no correlation between spending and test scores or graduation rates. Critics of educational spending argue that too much of the education budget (almost 40% at the national level) is allocated for teacher salaries, which average $58,950 nationwide, and should be spent on other programs and resources for students.

While in part funded from federal sources, public education in the U.S. is predominantly financed by state and local revenue sources, which creates large disparities in spending across states. To identify which states spend the most and least on public education, Credit Sesame, a credit score and financial management platform, analyzed the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data released in May of 2018. To compare spending figures against teacher salaries and student outcomes, Credit Sesame also incorporated data from the National Education Association, U.S. Department of Education, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Based on the analysis, states in the Northeast tend to spend the most money per pupil, with New York (ranked #1) spending three times more per pupil than Utah (ranked #51).

At the state level, per pupil spending is strongly correlated with average teacher salaries, which makes sense given the large portion of the budget that goes towards instructor salaries. However, when comparing state-level student outcomes (such as NAEP scores and graduation rates) with per pupil current spending, Credit Sesame found no obvious correlations—meaning that states spending the most per student today don’t appear to have better outcomes. In fact, some states such as Washington, D.C., Alaska, and Hawaii have significantly above average spending and below average academic performance. Conversely, states such as Utah, Indiana, Colorado, and Idaho appear to be doing more with less. Their students outperform those in other states on national assessments despite below average spending.

This analysis suggests that when it comes to improving academic performance, the availability of funds is only part of the equation. Where, when, and how such funds are deployed are likely more impactful than the total amount being spent. That said, whether you’re a new parent evaluating public school options in your state or just a concerned citizen, the list below—ranked by per pupil current spending—will show how your state stacks up.

The states ranked (least to most spending):


Photo Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

51. Utah

  • Per pupil current spending: $6,953 (51st)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 5.8%
  • Average teacher salary: $47,244 (46th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 85.2% (27th)
  • Total enrollment: 580,215 (28th)
  • Total spending: $4.10 billion (34th)


Photo Credit: Charles Knowles / Alamy Stock Photo

50. Idaho

  • Per pupil current spending: $7,157 (50th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $47,504 (43rd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 79.7% (40th)
  • Total enrollment: 274,849 (39th)
  • Total spending: $1.97 billion (44th)


Photo Credit: Andrew Zarivny / Alamy Stock Photo

49. Arizona

  • Per pupil current spending: $7,613 (49th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $47,403 (45th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 79.5% (43rd)
  • Total enrollment: 938,274 (16th)
  • Total spending: $7.28 billion (25th)


Photo Credit: Dave Newman / Alamy Stock Photo

48. Oklahoma

  • Per pupil current spending: $8,097 (48th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $45,245 (49th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 81.6% (36th)
  • Total enrollment: 672,777 (26th)
  • Total spending: $5.47 billion (30th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

47. Mississippi

  • Per pupil current spending: $8,702 (47th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 2.9%
  • Average teacher salary: $42,925 (50th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 82.3% (34th)
  • Total enrollment: 486,245 (33rd)
  • Total spending: $4.25 billion (33rd)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

46. North Carolina

  • Per pupil current spending: $8,792 (46th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $49,837 (35th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 85.9% (22nd)
  • Total enrollment: 1,462,036 (9th)
  • Total spending: $12.92 billion (13th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

45. Tennessee

  • Per pupil current spending: $8,810 (45th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $48,456 (40th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 88.5% (8th)
  • Total enrollment: 999,265 (15th)
  • Total spending: $8.89 billion (21st)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

44. Florida

  • Per pupil current spending: $8,920 (44th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $49,407 (36th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 80.7% (37th)
  • Total enrollment: 2,776,933 (3rd)
  • Total spending: $25.34 billion (7th)


Photo Credit: Visions of America, LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

43. Nevada

  • Per pupil current spending: $8,960 (43rd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 4.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $57,376 (18th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 73.6% (49th)
  • Total enrollment: 441,623 (35th)
  • Total spending: $3.98 billion (35th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

42. Texas

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,016 (42nd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.7%
  • Average teacher salary: $52,575 (26th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 89.1% (5th)
  • Total enrollment: 5,053,291 (2nd)
  • Total spending: $45.89 billion (3rd)


Photo Credit: Chris Boswell / Alamy Stock Photo

41. South Dakota

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,176 (41st)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 2.7%
  • Average teacher salary: $42,668 (51st)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 83.9% (28th)
  • Total enrollment: 134,045 (44th)
  • Total spending: $1.25 billion (50th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

40. Alabama

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,236 (40th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $48,868 (37th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 87.1% (16th)
  • Total enrollment: 734,652 (24th)
  • Total spending: $6.91 billion (26th)


Photo Credit: Joe Ferrer / Alamy Stock Photo

39. Colorado

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,575 (39th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $46,506 (47th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 78.9% (45th)
  • Total enrollment: 880,678 (19th)
  • Total spending: $8.52 billion (22nd)


Photo Credit: William Scott / Alamy Stock Photo

38. New Mexico

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,693 (38th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: -0.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $47,500 (44th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 71.0% (50th)
  • Total enrollment: 319,861 (36th)
  • Total spending: $3.10 billion (38th)


Photo Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

37. Georgia

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,769 (37th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $54,602 (24th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 79.4% (44th)
  • Total enrollment: 1,727,085 (6th)
  • Total spending: $17.12 billion (9th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

36. Arkansas

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,846 (36th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $48,616 (38th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 87.0% (17th)
  • Total enrollment: 479,177 (34th)
  • Total spending: $4.75 billion (32nd)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

35. Indiana

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,856 (35th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.7%
  • Average teacher salary: $50,554 (33rd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 86.8% (19th)
  • Total enrollment: 1,002,696 (14th)
  • Total spending: $9.96 billion (18th)


Photo Credit: Steven Frame / Alamy Stock Photo

34. Kentucky

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,863 (34th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 2.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $52,339 (27th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 88.6% (7th)
  • Total enrollment: 686,440 (25th)
  • Total spending: $6.83 billion (27th)


Photo Credit: Jeff Zehnder / Alamy Stock Photo

33. Kansas

  • Per pupil current spending: $9,960 (33rd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: -0.8%
  • Average teacher salary: $47,984 (42nd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 85.7% (23rd)
  • Total enrollment: 495,545 (32nd)
  • Total spending: $4.94 billion (31st)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

32. South Carolina

  • Per pupil current spending: $10,249 (32nd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $48,598 (39th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 82.6% (33rd)
  • Total enrollment: 743,320 (23rd)
  • Total spending: $7.75 billion (23rd)


Photo Credit: Image Source / Alamy Stock Photo

31. Missouri

  • Per pupil current spending: $10,313 (31st)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $48,293 (41st)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 89.0% (6th)
  • Total enrollment: 891,554 (18th)
  • Total spending: $9.42 billion (20th)


Photo Credit: Brian Overcast / Alamy Stock Photo

30. Oregon

  • Per pupil current spending: $10,842 (30th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.8%
  • Average teacher salary: $61,631 (12th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 74.8% (48th)
  • Total enrollment: 574,252 (29th)
  • Total spending: $6.46 billion (28th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

29. Louisiana

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,038 (29th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.3%
  • Average teacher salary: $50,000 (34th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 78.6% (46th)
  • Total enrollment: 660,561 (27th)
  • Total spending: $7.31 billion (24th)


Photo Credit: Purestock / Alamy Stock Photo

28. Iowa

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,150 (28th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.9%
  • Average teacher salary: $55,443 (22nd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 91.3% (1st)
  • Total enrollment: 508,014 (30th)
  • Total spending: $5.69 billion (29th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

27. West Virginia

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,291 (27th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: -0.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $45,701 (48th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 89.8% (3rd)
  • Total enrollment: 276,764 (38th)
  • Total spending: $3.17 billion (37th)


Photo Credit: Witold Skrypczak / Alamy Stock Photo

26. Montana

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,348 (26th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 2.9%
  • Average teacher salary: $51,422 (30th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 85.6% (24th)
  • Total enrollment: 145,240 (43rd)
  • Total spending: $1.66 billion (46th)


Photo Credit: Eric Franks / Alamy Stock Photo

25. Virginia

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,432 (25th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.7%
  • Average teacher salary: $51,049 (32nd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 86.7% (20th)
  • Total enrollment: 1,283,493 (12th)
  • Total spending: $14.75 billion (12th)


Photo Credit: Maryna Gumenyuk / Alamy Stock Photo

24. Wisconsin

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,456 (24th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.7%
  • Average teacher salary: $54,998 (23rd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 88.2% (9th)
  • Total enrollment: 857,736 (21st)
  • Total spending: $9.96 billion (17th)


Photo Credit: Adonis Villanueva / Alamy Stock Photo

23. California

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,495 (23rd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 9.8%
  • Average teacher salary: $78,711 (2nd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 83.0% (30th)
  • Total enrollment: 6,217,031 (1st)
  • Total spending: $72.64 billion (1st)


Photo Credit: Image Source / Alamy Stock Photo

22. Washington

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,534 (22nd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 7.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $54,147 (25th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 79.7% (40th)
  • Total enrollment: 1,083,973 (13th)
  • Total spending: $12.57 billion (14th)


Photo Credit: Susan Montgomery / Alamy Stock Photo

21. Michigan

  • Per pupil current spending: $11,668 (21st)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 1.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $62,200 (11th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 79.7% (40th)
  • Total enrollment: 1,335,713 (11th)
  • Total spending: $15.86 billion (10th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

20. Ohio

  • Per pupil current spending: $12,102 (20th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 4.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $57,000 (21st)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 83.5% (29th)
  • Total enrollment: 1,595,024 (7th)
  • Total spending: $20.56 billion (8th)


Photo Credit: robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo

19. Nebraska

  • Per pupil current spending: $12,299 (19th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $52,338 (28th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 89.3% (4th)
  • Total enrollment: 315,542 (37th)
  • Total spending: $3.88 billion (36th)


Photo Credit: rudi1976 / Alamy Stock Photo

18. Minnesota

  • Per pupil current spending: $12,382 (18th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.6%
  • Average teacher salary: $57,346 (19th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 82.2% (35th)
  • Total enrollment: 811,157 (22nd)
  • Total spending: $10.52 billion (16th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

17. Maine

  • Per pupil current spending: $13,278 (17th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $51,077 (31st)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 87.0% (17th)
  • Total enrollment: 179,879 (41st)
  • Total spending: $2.49 billion (41st)


Photo Credit: Purestock / Alamy Stock Photo

16. North Dakota

  • Per pupil current spending: $13,373 (16th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $51,618 (29th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 87.5% (13th)
  • Total enrollment: 108,384 (48th)
  • Total spending: $1.46 billion (49th)


Photo Credit: Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

15. Hawaii

  • Per pupil current spending: $13,748 (15th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 7.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $57,674 (17th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 82.7% (32nd)
  • Total enrollment: 181,995 (40th)
  • Total spending: $2.52 billion (40th)


Photo Credit: Dave Newman / Alamy Stock Photo

14. Illinois

  • Per pupil current spending: $14,180 (14th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.1%
  • Average teacher salary: $61,602 (13th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 85.5% (25th)
  • Total enrollment: 2,030,717 (5th)
  • Total spending: $29.22 billion (4th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

13. Maryland

  • Per pupil current spending: $14,206 (13th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.1%
  • Average teacher salary: $66,961 (8th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 87.6% (12th)
  • Total enrollment: 879,196 (20th)
  • Total spending: $12.52 billion (15th)


Photo Credit: Jon Bilous / Alamy Stock Photo

12. Delaware

  • Per pupil current spending: $14,713 (12th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 4.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $60,214 (14th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 85.5% (25th)
  • Total enrollment: 121,225 (47th)
  • Total spending: $1.85 billion (45th)


Photo Credit: Steven Frame / Alamy Stock Photo

11. New Hampshire

  • Per pupil current spending: $15,340 (11th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 4.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $57,253 (20th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 88.2% (9th)
  • Total enrollment: 179,682 (42nd)
  • Total spending: $2.78 billion (39th)


Photo Credit: Christian Hinkle / Alamy Stock Photo

10. Pennsylvania

  • Per pupil current spending: $15,418 (10th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 4.8%
  • Average teacher salary: $65,863 (10th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 86.1% (21st)
  • Total enrollment: 1,572,593 (8th)
  • Total spending: $26.26 billion (6th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

9. Rhode Island

  • Per pupil current spending: $15,532 (9th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 2.3%
  • Average teacher salary: $66,477 (9th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 82.8% (31st)
  • Total enrollment: 133,856 (45th)
  • Total spending: $2.24 billion (43rd)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

8. Massachusetts

  • Per pupil current spending: $15,593 (8th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.0%
  • Average teacher salary: $77,804 (3rd)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 87.5% (13th)
  • Total enrollment: 921,029 (17th)
  • Total spending: $15.47 billion (11th)


Photo Credit: Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

7. Wyoming

  • Per pupil current spending: $16,442 (7th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 2.4%
  • Average teacher salary: $58,650 (16th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 80.0% (39th)
  • Total enrollment: 94,511 (49th)
  • Total spending: $1.56 billion (48th)


Photo Credit: Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

6. Alaska

  • Per pupil current spending: $17,510 (6th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: -13.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $68,138 (7th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 76.1% (47th)
  • Total enrollment: 132,477 (46th)
  • Total spending: $2.33 billion (42nd)


Photo Credit: API / Alamy Stock Photo

5. Vermont

  • Per pupil current spending: $17,873 (5th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: -0.9%
  • Average teacher salary: $60,187 (15th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 87.7% (11th)
  • Total enrollment: 87,974 (50th)
  • Total spending: $1.65 billion (47th)


Photo Credit: Purestock / Alamy Stock Photo

4. New Jersey

  • Per pupil current spending: $18,402 (4th)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 0.9%
  • Average teacher salary: $69,623 (6th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly better than average
  • Graduation rate: 90.1% (2nd)
  • Total enrollment: 1,364,473 (10th)
  • Total spending: $26.76 billion (5th)


Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

3. Connecticut

  • Per pupil current spending: $18,958 (3rd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 3.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $72,561 (5th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Better than average
  • Graduation rate: 87.4% (15th)
  • Total enrollment: 499,494 (31st)
  • Total spending: $9.80 billion (19th)


Photo Credit: Vlad Ghiea / Alamy Stock Photo

2. District of Columbia

  • Per pupil current spending: $19,159 (2nd)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: -1.2%
  • Average teacher salary: $76,131 (4th)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: Significantly worse than average
  • Graduation rate: 69.2% (51st)
  • Total enrollment: 48,336 (51st)
  • Total spending: $1.01 billion (51st)


Photo Credit: Harold Stiver / Alamy Stock Photo

1. New York

  • Per pupil current spending: $22,366 (1st)
  • Per pupil current spending change from 2015: 5.5%
  • Average teacher salary: $79,637 (1st)
  • Nation’s Report Card performance: About average
  • Graduation rate: 80.4% (38th)
  • Total enrollment: 2,590,945 (4th)
  • Total spending: $61.45 billion (2nd)

Methodology:

Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in this analysis is for public elementary and secondary schools only.

Current spending and enrollment statistics are from the U.S. Census Bureau, “Annual Survey of School System Finances” (2016), released in May of 2018. Current spending represents the amount spent by schools on daily operations, not including debt service, capital outlay, or reimbursement to other governments. Teacher salary statistics are from the National Education Association, Estimates of School Statistics, 2016-17. High school graduation rates are from the U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data (2015-2016). The graduation rate presented is the public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.

Nation’s Report Card performance was evaluated using 2017 data from the Institute of Education Sciences, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Math and Reading assessments for 8th grade students. For each state, the NAEP Math and Reading scores were averaged. The resulting averages were converted to percentiles and given qualitative scores.

The list of states is ranked by per pupil current spending for Fiscal Year 2016.