Source: Hechinger Report

In a December 2018 report, the U.S. Department of Education quietly noted an important milestone: spending by state and local governments, on average, was strong enough during the 2015-16 school year to return annual per-student spending to what it had been before 2008-9 recession and even grew above the pre-recession peak. This 2015-16 spending represents a 1 percent real improvement over that previous high point. These national numbers are just averages. Some states spent more than double what other states spent. While many states increased financing for schools, others did not.  In a few states, such as Kansas and Oklahoma, education spending remained lower than it was before the recession, after adjusting for inflation. “There is more spread across states in state and local funding than ever before,” wrote Marguerite Roza, the director of the Edunomics Lab, in an e-mail.  “While the national averages tell one story, that story may not apply to some states.”