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Arizona Education Spending Again Among Lowest in U.S.

The most recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau puts Arizona near the bottom of the list for K-through-12 public-education spending. That comes as most states are increasing the amount dedicated to schools. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

In 2013, U.S. states on average boosted school spending by nearly 1 percent. But that year was the third in a row for Arizona to cut its education budget.

The state’s per-pupil K-through-12 funding in 2013 was $7,208, while the national average came in at $10,700. That put Arizona third-lowest out of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, with only Idaho and Utah spending less.

The Census Bureau also says in 2013 Arizona received the fifth-highest amount of federal money in the county for its schools. Nearly 15 percent of the state’s overall education budget came from Washington.

Topping the Census Bureau’s spending list were New York, Alaska the District of Columbia.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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