October 28, 2023

The High Price of Public School

Timothy Birdnow

Public schools are way too expensive, especially for the value.

The Average Cost of Public School Education Is 58% More Than Private School

To fill this decades-long gap, Just Factsconducted extensive research to develop a methodology that reliably measures private school spending. Beyond analyzing academic papers and government reports, Just Facts performed data checks and corresponded with the Department of Education and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to ensure accuracy.

Applying this method to the latest available data, the average inflation-adjusted cost of private K–12 schools in the 2019–20 school year was $9,709 per student. In contrast, the cost for public schools was $17,013 per student—or 75% more than private schools.

Public schools have a disproportionate number of students with disabilities, who cost more to educate than other students. Accounting for this difference, the average cost of educating children in public schools is now 58% greater than in private schools.

However, the cost premium of public schools is almost certainly larger than 58%. This is because government data on public school spending excludes some key items.

Coupled with data on student outcomes, these findings have major implications for the state of the public education system and how to improve it.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:30 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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