OVERVIEW
A Guide to Education and No Child Left Behind
October 2004
Archived Information

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National Expenditures and Achievement

As a nation, we now spend $501.3 billion annually at all levels of government on elementary and secondary education.

American taxpayers invest more in education than in the Defense Department. The United States invests more per pupil than almost any other nation in the world. Unfortunately, as Organization for Economic Development Education Director Barry McGaw noted, "The U.S. doesn't get the bang for its buck."

Expenditures for Elementary and Secondary Education. Bar chart showing total Federal, State, Local, and Other education expenditures increasing from 249 billion dollars in 1990-91 to 501.3 billion dollars in 2003-04; in that time frame, Federal expenditures increased from approximately 20 billion to 40 billion, State from approximately 100 billion to 230 billion, Local from approximately 100 billion to 185 billion, and Other from approximately 30 billion to 45 billion. See footnote 26 for source information.

Much work remains to close the achievement gap in the early years. Even after four years of public schooling, most students perform below proficiency in both reading and mathematics. Minority and disadvantaged students are most at risk for falling behind.

4th-Grade Reading Proficiency: 2003. Bar chart showing White student proficiency at 41%, African American at 13%, Hispanic 15%, Asian/Pacific Islander 38%, American Indian/Alaska Native 16%, Disadvantaged 15%. See footnote 27 for source information.

4th-Grade Math Proficiency: 2003. Bar chart showing White student proficiency at 43%, African American at 10%, Hispanic 16%, Asian/Pacific Islander 48%, American Indian/Alaska Native 17%, Disadvantaged 15%. See footnote 28 for source information.

Upon graduating from high school, few students have acquired the math and science skills necessary to compete in the knowledge-based economy.

12th-Grade Math Proficiency: 2000. Bar chart showing White student proficiency at 20%, African American at 3%, Hispanic 4%, Asian/Pacific Islander 34%, American Indian/Alaska Native 10%, Disadvantaged 4%. See footnote 29 for source information.

12th-Grade Science Proficiency: 2000. Bar chart showing White student proficiency at 23%, African American at 3%, Hispanic 7%, Asian/Pacific Islander 26%, American Indian/Alaska Native 9%, Disadvantaged 6%. See footnote 30 for source information.


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Last Modified: 03/08/2006