Raleigh, N.C. (NEWS RELEASE) - The cost of educating one high school graduate in North Carolina ranges from $100,736 to $265,395, according to an analysis released today by the Civitas Institute.
Specifically, the cost to educate one high school graduate in New Hanover County Schools is $155,444. Final cost figures calculate inflation-adjusted per student support, a cost of $101,816, and divide by the graduation rate which is 65.5 percent.
The study gathered data on annual average per student local, state and federal expenditures for the years 1996-97 through 2008-09. On average, North Carolina taxpayers spend $142,027 to educate one high school graduate. This figure does not include costs of capital expenses, debt services, transportation costs, or community service programs. Adding in these costs can typically increase per pupil spending by up to 25 percent.
“Two things jump out from our analysis. First, the cost to educate a high school graduate varies greatly across communities. Second, average actual per pupil expenditures are, in many cases, comparable to tuition at private schools,” said Civitas Institute Senior Policy Analyst Bob Luebke.
Divided over 13 years that means taxpayers spend about $10,925 (2008 dollars) annually, on each student’s public school education.
Furthermore, the 2010-11 state budget allocated $7.1 billion, or 37 percent of state spending, to K-12 public education. In 2008-09, state, federal, and local education expenditures totaled $12.2 billion.
“When we’re spending more than a third of our state budget on our public schools, we need to ensure we’re educating our kids in a cost efficient and cost effective manner. This analysis helps to answer those questions and spur discussion on ways we can use taxpayer resources more wisely,” added Luebke.
To view the complete analysis by local education agency (LEA), visit the Civitas Institute by clicking here http://www.nccivitas.org/media/publication-archive/policy-reports/how-mu.... To schedule an interview, please email Katie Trout or call (919) 834-2099.