Education: 6. How Does Vermont’s Cost of Education Compare to Other States?


The US Census Bureau conducts an annual survey of state public school system expenditures and finances for grades pre-K-12.

The most recent survey was published in 2016 for the 2013/2014 school year. Below, per pupil spending of Vermont will be compared to New Hampshire and the USA as a whole for all key categories of expenditure.

Per Pupil Education Spending: 2013/2014 School-Year ($)


Spending Category Vermont New Hampshire USA Vt. vs. USA
Total Per Pupil Expenditures 16,988 14,335 11,009 +54%
Salaries and Wages 9,760 7,848 6,482 +51%
Instruction 10,165 9,016 6,654 +53%
-Salaries 6,564 5,673 4,378 +50%
-Benefits 2,756 2,563 1,691 +63%
Total Support Services 6,285 4,942 3,888 +62%
-Pupil Support 1,423 1,102 619 +130%
-Instructor Staff Support 772 447 509 +52%
-General Administration 386 495 210 +84%
-School Administration 1,191 821 607 +96%

Source: US Census Bureau Survey of State School System Finances

Key Observations

Vermont has High Cost Education: The cost per pupil in 2014 was 54% higher than the USA average and 18.5% higher than New Hampshire, a state with equivalent or higher education outcomes. If Vermont could reduce its Education expenditures to the level of New Hampshire, the savings would total $235.7 million, equivalent to 19.5% of gross Homestead property tax receipts.

Vermont has Very High Administrative Costs: Vermont’s Education expenditures exceed the USA average and New Hampshire in every single category. Support Service expenditures, particularly Pupil Support, General Administration and School Administration expenditures exceed the national average by 130%, 84% and 96%, respectively.

Vermont’s Fiscal-Year 2016 Education Expenditures are Even Higher: The total Education cost per pupil in Vermont has gone from $16,988 in the 2013/2014 school year as reported by the US Census Bureau to approximately $21,000 in 2015/2016 school year.




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