Most school funding — anywhere in the U.S. — comes from state and local sources. And as a result, that means school spending can vary wildly from state to state (not to mention from town to town)

At the state level, average per-pupil spending ranges from a high of $23,091 to a low of $7,179 per year, according to a study by Lattice Publishing in Los Angeles.

New Jersey spends the fourth-most on child education — almost $19,000 per student, said Kyle Fretwell, founder of Lattice, which conducted its study on behalf of HeyTutor. based on 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau National Center for Education Statistics.

The report looked at three major buckets of spending: instructional spending, which includes student instruction and teacher salaries; support services, which includes operations and maintenance, school administrators, staff support and public transportation; and other functions.

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A little more than half of that $19,000 in New Jersey goes toward instructional spending or support spending, Fretwell said. He also said the academic performance for New Jersey is significantly above average, according to the nation's report card — with above-average outcomes on standardized tests and in graduation rates.

New Jersey trails New York, Washington D.C. and Connecticut as far as child education spending. New York spends about $23,000 per student. The total average spending per student for the entire U.S. is $12,000, according to the study.

Here's a summary of the data for New Jersey:

  • Total spending per student: $18,920
  • Instructional spending per student: $11,076
  • Support services spending per student: $7,208
  • Total spending: $27.45 billion
  • Average teacher salary: $69,623
  • Graduation rate: $90.5%

For the entire United States:

  • Total spending per student: $12, 201
  • Instructional spending per student: $7,406
  • Support services spending per student: $4,292
  • Total spending: $610.30 billion 
  • Average teacher salary: $58,950
  • Graduation rate: 84.6%
  • Academic performance: N/A

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