Public elementary and secondary education revenue declined in fiscal year 2012 for the first time since 1977, when the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting public education finance data on an annual basis. According to new Census Bureau findings released today, public elementary and secondary school systems received $594.5 billion in total revenue in fiscal year 2012, down $4.9 billion (0.8 percent) from fiscal year 2011.
Today's findings come from Public Education Finances: 2012. These statistics provide figures on revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) of the nation's elementary and secondary public school systems. The report, released annually, includes detailed statistics on spending — such as instruction, student transportation, salaries and employee benefits — at the national, state and school district levels.
State governments were the leading source of revenue ($270.4 billion), closely followed by revenue from local sources ($264.6 billion); almost two-thirds (65.3 percent) of revenue from local sources came from property taxes. Public school systems received $59.5 billion in revenue from the federal government, a decrease of $14.2 billion (19.2 percent) from the previous fiscal year.