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Jim Hull, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Education

How are schools spending my tax dollars?

A: The average district receives about 44 percent of its funds from the local government, 47 percent from the state government, and about 9 percent from the federal government.

Schools receive funding from a variety of sources and spend these funds on a variety of programs. Some of these programs are required by the state, some by federal government, and others by local statutes. The average district receives about 44 percent of its funds from the local government, 47 percent from the state government, and about 9 percent from the federal government.  However, these percentages can vary from state to state.

As for how districts spend these funds, in general terms schools spend:

  • 66 percent of their funds on instruction
  • 18 percent on operations
  • 11 percent on administration
  • 5 percent on student services

For an example of the breakdown of how each dollar is spent on a student, click here. And for more information about how schools are financed and how taxpayer money is spent, check out the Center’s Money Matters report.