Skip to Content

Rankings of the States 2012 and Estimates of School Statistics 2013

Download the Full Report

Rankings of the States 2012 and Estimates of School Statistics 2013
(PDF icon PDF, 813 KB, 129 pgs.)


The data presented in this combined report provide facts about the extent to which local, state, and national governments commit resources to public education. NEA Research offers this report to its state and local affiliates as well as to researchers, policymakers, and the public as a tool to examine public education policies, programs, and services.

What’s up?

Student-teacher ratios. Local and state shares of total federal-state-local revenue for schools.

Less than one percent:

While total U.S. personal income increased nearly 4%, education revenue per student increased only 2% between 2009 and 2010; most recently for 2011-12, moreover, combined federal, state, and local school revenue per student increased less than one percent (0.6%).

Did someone ask about salaries?

Salaries are important for attracting, developing, and keeping a top-notch teaching force in place in each zip code, however over the years from 2001-02 through 2011-12, the buying power of teacher salaries has declined 2.8%.

Not adjusted for inflation, there was a year-over-year decline in the average teacher salary of one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) between 2011 and 2012.

Read the full report: Rankings of the States 2012 and Estimates of School Statistics 2013 (PDF icon PDF, 813 KB, 129 pgs.)

 Rankings and Estimates 2012

Population: State population data provide indicators of the relative demand for public education services and other public programs. From 2009 to 2010, the total U.S. resident population increased by six-tenths of a percent (0.6%).

States that experienced the greatest percentage gains in population were Hawaii (5.0%), North Dakota (4.0%), Wyoming (3.7%), New Mexico (2.4%), and Nevada (2.2%). Arizona (-3.1%), Georgia (-1.4%), Michigan (-0.9%), New York (-0.8%), Utah (-0.8%), Massachusetts (-0.7%), New Hampshire (-0.7%), Illinois (-0.6%), and Ohio (-0.1%) experienced population declines (Table A-3).

Enrollment: In fall 2011, U.S. public school enrollment was 49,221,735, up 0.1 percent over fall 2010. The largest percentage enrollment changes from fall 2010 to fall 2011 were in Utah (3.7%), Nevada (2.9%), Idaho (1.5%), and Texas (1.3%).

Twenty-three states experienced declines in student enrollment in fall 2011. The greatest declines were in Tennessee (-3.0%), Connecticut (-2.1%), Vermont (-1.9%), New Hampshire (-1.2%), Rhode Island (-1.2%), Maine (-1.2%), Alaska (-1.1%), and Michigan (-1.1%) (B-2, B-3).

Classroom Teachers: Changes in the number of staff employed in education institutions as well as their levels of compensation reflect trends in enrollment; changes in the economy; and specific state, local, and national program priorities. There were 3,083,266 teachers in 2011–12 (C-5). The average number of students per teacher increased from 15.7 in 2010–11 to 16.0 in 2011–12.

This ratio of students to teachers must not be confused with “Average Class Size,” which is the number of students assigned to a classroom for instructional purposes. Class size and student-teacher ratio are very different concepts and cannot be used interchangeably.

The difference between student-teacher ratio and average class size in K–3 is 9 or 10 students (Sharp 2002). Therefore, an elementary school with a school-wide student-teacher ratio of 16:1 in kindergarten through third grade would typically have an average class size of 25 or 26 students in those same grades.

States with the highest number of students enrolled per teacher in public elementary and secondary schools in fall 2011: California (25.6), Utah (21.9), Oregon (20.2), Washington (19.7), and Michigan (18.4). States with the lowest student-teacher ratios were Vermont (9.4), Nebraska (10.7), Maine (11.9), New Jersey (12.0), and Virginia (12.1). Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia had average student-teacher ratios below the U.S. average (16.0) (C-6).

Males comprised 23.9 percent of U.S. public school teachers in 2012. States with the largest percentage of male faculty were: Kansas (33.1%), Oregon (30.9%), Vermont (30.2%), or Alaska (30.0%). States with the lowest percentage of male faculty were: Virginia (17.5%), Mississippi (17.9%), Louisiana (18.4%), South Carolina (18.4%), and Georgia (19.9%). The median was 24.1 percent (C-8).

Classroom Teacher Salaries: The U.S. average public school teacher salary for 2011–12 was $55,418. State average public school teacher salaries ranged from those in New York ($73,398), Massachusetts ($71,721), and Connecticut ($69,465) at the high end to South Dakota ($38,804), Mississippi ($41,646), and Oklahoma ($44,391) at the low end (C-11).

Over the decade from 2001–02 to 2011–12, in constant dollars, average salaries for public school teachers decreased by 2.8 percent. Wyoming (18.4%), the District of Columbia (14.4%), Massachusetts (14.1%), North Dakota (11.9%), and Montana (10.6%) had the largest real increases in salaries during that 10-year period.

Adjusting for inflation, thirty-two states saw real declines in average teacher salaries over those years. Those with average salaries declining 5 percent or more were: North Carolina (-15.7%), Indiana (-10.1%), Illinois (-8.7%), Virginia (-8.7%), Michigan (-8.1%),   Florida (-7.3%), South Carolina (-6.9%), Georgia (-5.9%), Washington (-5.9%), and Colorado (-5.5%) (C-14).

Not adjusted for inflation, the U.S. average one-year change in public school teacher salaries from 2010–11 to 2011–12 was -0.1%. The largest one-year decease was in Illinois (-10.7%) and the largest one-year increase was in Montana (3.0%). States with declines of one percent or more in current dollars were: New Mexico (-2.7%), South Dakota (-2.6%), Hawaii (-1.8%), North Carolina (-1.6%), and Washington (-1.3%) (C-15).

Rankings and Estimates 2012

Expenditures per Student: The U.S. average per student expenditure for public elementary and secondary schools in 2011–12 fall enrollment was $10,834. States with the highest per student expenditures were: New York ($18,616), Vermont ($18,571), New Jersey ($18,485), Alaska ($17,032), and Rhode Island ($16,683). Arizona ($6,683), Utah ($6,849), Nevada ($8,247), Oklahoma ($8,285), and Idaho ($8,323) had the lowest per student expenditures (H-11).

General Financial Resources: Total personal income data indicate the overall economic activity within a specific geographic area. It is the aggregate income from all sources received by persons residing in a state, and it has a significant effect on the total revenue or financial resources available to government jurisdictions through taxation. Personal income largely drives state tax systems; sales and income tax collections respond rapidly to its changes.

Between 2009 and 2010, U.S. total personal income increased by 3.8 percent to yield $250,543 per student enrolled (D-2, D-7). In contrast, combined federal, state, and local school revenue per K–12 student increased by 2.0 percent that year. For 2011–12, revenue per K–12 student increased 0.6 percent (F-1, F-2).

School Revenues:  School funding continues to be state oriented, although the federal share increased somewhat in recent years.

Between school years 2010–11 and 2011–12, the local share of K–12 public education funding increased from 42.7 to 43.7 percent (F-7, F-8) and the state share increased from 45.6 to 45.8 percent (F-9, F-10).

The federal share decreased to 10.5 percent (F-11, F-12). Throughout the past 10 years, state and local governments have each provided between 43 and 49 percent of the total revenues.


  • anc_dyn_linksRankings of States and Estimates of School Statistics
    Find current and previous reports that provide facts about the extent to which local, state, and national governments commit resources to public education.
  • anc_dyn_linksAbout NEA’s Annual Rankings & Estimates Report
    What is the Rankings & Estimates report and how can I use it to benefit my state?


  • anc_dyn_linksResearch Reports & Statistics
  • anc_dyn_linksNEA Policy Briefs
  • anc_dyn_linksNEA Documents on Conditions in Public Education
  • anc_dyn_linksNEA Research Reports: School Funding