A new U.S. Census Bureau Report shows that Nevada spent a little over $8,400 per pupil in 2008-09 (excluding debt repayment and capital expenditures). "Current expenditures" came to $3.6 BILLION that year (current expenditures exclude debt repayment and capital expenditures) and would be an estimated $7.2 BILLION in the biennium - that is more than the state's general fund! (See Table 1, page1). "Total expenditures" (including debt and capital costs) came to $4.5 BILLION in 2008-09 (expenditure on interest payments alone accounted for $288 million!).
Impressively, K-12 ed had $2.6 BILLION in cash and securities on hand but a (near) nation worst debt to expenditure ratio with $5.6 BILLION in accumulated debt.
Of the $3.6 BILLION in "current expenditures" $3 BILLION was spent on salary and benefits alone! (see table 6, page 6). Salaries and benefits for "instruction" related personal accounted for $1.95 BILLION of the $3 BILLION total spent on salary and benefits.
Per-pupil spending came to $8,422 with salary and benefits consuming $7,050 of those expenditures (or 83.7 percent of "current expenditures")(see table 8, page 8).
While Nevada's per pupil spending ranks 45th among American states plus DC we do spend more than Canada, Germany, Korea and about as much as France and Japan. In fact, if Nevada were its own country we'd rank above average for per pupil spending among OECD nations!
While Nevada spends BILLIONS of dollars on education every year, we've proven incapable of spending the money wisely. In fact, the evidence suggests public education in Nevada is not about educating students but providing jobs to adults! Serious reform is needed: school choice, charter schools, empowerment schools, open enrollment, decentralization, ending tenure, ending seniority, ending lock-step pay, ending advanced degree bonuses; all can help improve the quality of education in Nevada.