When one hears about the billions of dollars in government funding that is allocated for education, it can seem astronomical. However, the reality is that these funds go towards fulfilling students’ essential needs. Learning about what public school funding is actually spent on can help demonstrate just how important proper education funding really is.

Most Funds Go Towards Instruction

An analysis of spending that breaks down budgets based on location found that the biggest expense for every state is instruction. Public schools have to spend massive amounts of money just to hire enough teachers for their students. Sadly, this funding is not actually enough. Educators remain one of the most underpaid jobs where teachers struggle to make ends meet and are often required to use their own personal funds to cover classroom supplies.

Keep in mind that instruction is more than just teacher salaries though. It also refers to the massive amount of money spent on textbooks and learning courses. With textbooks being one of the most expensive categories of book, it is no surprise that so much money has to go towards instruction expenses.

Administration Also Uses a Sizable Chunk of Federal Funding

Next to the cost of instruction themselves, all of the costs associated with administration are the next biggest source of expense for public schools. This includes both school specific administration, like hiring a principal, and general administration like coordinating transportation or new facilities. All of the effort involved in keeping this massive organization up and running quickly eats up a district’s budget.

Various Pupil Support Services Add Up

A lot of federal funding is also spent on generalized pupil support. The biggest example of this is the subsidized lunches many public schools offer to students. Funding may also go towards school nurses, school libraries, and other non-instruction related departments that help students succeed. In some schools, pupil support services may also offer specialized care like tutoring or counseling.

Each School Is Different

The majority of a budget goes towards instruction, administration, and pupil support. However, there is also a wide range of other various expenses a school may need. Some schools may need to pay for transportation, construction, specialized equipment, or sports programs.