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Labor Market Case

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“Question: How much money does the United States spend on public elementary and secondary schools?
Response: Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States amounted to $632 billion in 2010–11, or $12,608 per public school student (in constant 2012–13 dollars, based on the Consumer Price Index). These expenditures include $11,153 per student in current expenditures for operation of schools; $1,076 for capital outlay (i.e., expenditures for property and for buildings and alterations completed by school district staff or contractors); and $379 for interest on school debt.
From 2000–01 to 2010–11, current expenditures per student enrolled in the fall in public elementary and secondary schools increased by 14 percent (from $9,751 to $11,153 in constant 2012–13 dollars). The amount for 2010–11, however, was lower than the amount for 2009–10 ($11,353).” 1
This increasing trend in US educational spending has existed for decades. It is only during economic downturns that the growth trend has stalled or had minor inversions, like mentioned in the excerpt above for 2009-10. It should also be noted that the growth trend of these dollars typically outpace the growth trend of CPI inflation. In other words, the percent of GDP that goes towards public education has been on the rise.
Why the growing trends? Many believe that education is worthwhile because of the financial flexibility it affords individuals especially during the independence of adulthood. In connection with this belief, the other half of schooling systems, i.e. private institutions, have experienced even stronger growth over equivalent periods. The stronger growth is due to the fact that private institutions have a general reputation of offering a better educational experience than public institutions do. The growth trends are least positive for…...

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