Study Puts Nevada 44th in Spending on Students - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Study Puts Nevada 44th in Spending on Students

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A federal study ranks Nevada 44th in the nation in per-pupil spending on education.
The National Center for Education Statistics report made public Tuesday analyzed public school expenditures and revenue in 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The Las Vegas Sun reports the national average in per-pupil spending was $10,658 during fiscal year 2011.
Utah spent the least, at $6,326 per student while Washington, D.C., spent the most, at $20,793.
Nevada spent an average of $8,411 per student in fiscal 2011. That's a little more than $2,200 less than the national average. It says Nevada spent about $3.7 billion for public schools in 2011. About 60% of that amount, or $2.2 billion, went to classroom instruction and student support services.

While it's a disappointment to be ranked so low after years in this position, Washoe County District officials say it's not that surprising. "Nevada tends to rank towards the bottom of the country when it comes to per pupil funding, so not a huge surprise to us," says WSCD Chief Accountant Tom Ciesynski.

He says after years of budget cuts, Washoe County has just learned to do more with less. He says even with the low spending, the district has still managed to boost test scores and graduation rates. But in terms of competition, money does make a difference. "You're in competition with other states in the U.S., so money doesn't solve all your problems, but it certainly makes competition a little bit more difficult."

There is a silver lining though, this last legislative session approved additional funding for education in Nevada, so that should help ease some of the burden on the school districts. And it might even boost Nevada's ranking nationwide when the report for the 2014 school years comes out.
The report is for the federal Education Department. To see it, go to (AP)

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