This section provides a comparison of the two states’ K-12 public school systems using three common measures: total per-pupil public school expenditures, teacher pay, and socioeconomic status of the K-12 student population. These factors are frequently seen as important drivers of student achievement.[5] They also provide context for the two states’ policies and test results, which are discussed later in the paper.

[5] See, for instance William Howell, Martin West, and Paul E. Peterson, “The Public Weighs in on School Reform,” Education Next, vol. 11, no. 4 (Hoover Institution, 2011) (accessed April 24, 2013).