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A Different Way to Look at Coloradans’ Financial Contributions to K-12 Education

Writing over at Hot Air, Mike Antonucci came up with some new ways to measure how much is spent annually on public education. He digs into the data from 2010 to make some interesting calculations at a national level. Well, using the help of my Education Policy Center friends, here are comparable numbers for Colorado, looking at the year 2010:

  1. Government revenues collected for public K-12 education in Colorado totaled $8.853 billion
  2. That’s about $1,760 for every man, woman, and child living in the state
  3. Or about $2,316 for every adult (ages 18 and older)
  4. Or about $4,103 for each non-farm Colorado worker on payroll
  5. That represents 8.8 percent of the average worker’s annual salary, or about $1.97 per hour
  6. The average Colorado employee works about 40 minutes a day to fund public schools
  7. It takes the full salary of about 189,280 employees to pay for Colorado public schools, or nearly the number of people working across the state in food preparation and service jobs

So yes, if you compare those numbers to Antonucci’s national analysis, it is clear Colorado spends below the national average on K-12 education. (Of course, we also happen to get above average performance, too.)

But it’s a different way to look at the financial picture of the state’s schools. There’s nothing like real numbers to get you thinking, too.