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Charts: "Money Poster" Shows Salaries As 50% Of Overall Spending

ScreenHunter_27 Nov. 22 10.09Yesterday morning the Washington Post's Ezra Klein linked to a massive "Money Poster" with all sorts of figures on it -- including K12 spending ($612B a year) and teacher salaries ($296B).  I'm not sure how the calculations were made but it's curious to me that teacher salaries come in at less than half of overall spending, given how often we're told that teacher salaries the main spending item in education budgets.  Maybe it's a pensions thing -- spending on pension isn't included in teacher salaries here, or maybe the picture is different at the national / federal level than it is in a school or school district. I can't find a list of sources though there may be one out there.  


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Simple. You rightly note it doesn't include benefits, but it also doesn't include the salaries of administrators and education support workers (food service, bus drivers, custodians, et al.) whose K-12 workforce numbers match those of teachers but who, on average, are paid less.

If you check NCES's database of ed statistics, you'll find compensation of ed employees accounts for 80 percent or so of K-12 ed spending.

Also, a lot goes into capital expenditures which don't necessarily end up in the main budget but might be counted here.

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