How K-12 support services spending can divert education funding from instruction

In Politics by Michael Rae

Data from the 2019-20 school year indicate that the U.S. spent $771 billion from federal, state, and local sources on public K-12 education. Previous analyses of instructional spending have shown how education spending has substantially increased between 2002 and 2020 but rising benefit costs have swallowed up a lot of those new dollars. There are also important support services spending trends reflected in the latest K-12 Education Spending Spotlight data. 

National Trends in Support Services Spending

Support services are a broad category of K-12 education expenditures that cover all operational spending that isn’t direct student instruction. These include social workers, guidance counselors,