Michigan’s total per-pupil public school expenditures were consistently higher than Florida’s from 1990 to 2009 (for simplicity, school years are labeled with the calendar year in which a school year ended).[*] Michigan and Florida were quite similar in 1990, but by 1997, Michigan began to spend significantly more on average than Florida (see Graphic 1). In fact, the Great Lakes State spent at least 20 percent more per pupil in each year from 1997 to 2005, reaching a high of 42 percent more in 2003.[†]

Graphic 1: Total K-12 Public School Expenditures Per Pupil
in Michigan and Florida, 1990-2009*

School
Year*

Florida

Michigan

Percentage
Difference

1990

$6,194

$6,284

1.5%

1991

$6,614

$6,767

2.3%

1992

$6,501

$7,270

11.8%

1993

$6,433

$7,680

19.4%

1994

$6,793

$7,739

13.9%

1995

$7,138

$7,949

11.4%

1996

$7,307

$8,198

12.2%

1997

$7,412

$8,914

20.3%

1998

$7,519

$9,327

24.0%

1999

$7,910

$9,937

25.6%

2000

$8,051

$10,693

32.8%

2001

$8,263

$10,947

32.5%

2002

$8,359

$11,627

39.1%

2003

$8,533

$12,118

42.0%

2004

$9,047

$12,170

34.5%

2005

$9,674

$12,438

28.6%

2006

$10,753

$12,629

17.4%

2007

$11,912

$12,807

7.5%

2008

$12,636

$12,905

2.1%

2009

$11,830

$13,282

12.3%

Source: Author’s calculations based on “Common Core of Data,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ (accessed March 28, 2012). Note that these figures are not adjusted for inflation.
* This study designates the school year with the calendar year in which that school year ended. Hence, the 1990 school year refers to the school year beginning in the fall of 1989 and ending in the spring of 1990.

In Graphic 2, the data from Graphic 1 is plotted against trends for the nation as a whole. As the graphic shows, since 2003, the Sunshine State has increased per-pupil spending more rapidly than it had previously.[6]

Nevertheless, in 2009 (the latest year for which data are available), Michigan still spent 12 percent more than Florida. Nationally in 2009, Michigan ranked 20th in total K-12 public school expenditures per pupil, and Florida ranked 33rd.[7]

Graphic 2: Total K-12 Public School Expenditures Per Pupil in the United States, Michigan and Florida, 1990-2009

Graphic 2: Total K-12 Public School Expenditures Per Pupil in the United States, Michigan and Florida, 1990-2009 - click to enlarge

Source: Author’s calculations based on “Common Core of Data,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ (accessed March 28, 2012).
Note: These figures are not adjusted for inflation.


[*] Total expenditures include employee compensation, purchased services, supplies, property, construction, community services and other programs, such as adult education. “The National Public Education Financial Survey Instruction Booklet,” (U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), 39, http://goo.gl/r1KBe (accessed May 31, 2013); “Common Core of Data,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ (accessed March 28, 2012).

[†] Spending per pupil is based on “average daily attendance” data from the National Center for Education Statistics. ADA data are used throughout this study for per-pupil calculations.


[6] Author’s calculations based on “Common Core of Data,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ (accessed March?28, 2012).

[7] Author’s calculations based on ibid.