According to the recently released 2013-2014 National Education Association Rankings & Estimates report, Idaho ranks last among states in per capita state & local government spending for public K-12 schools. According to the U.S. Census report data, in 2010-2011 Idaho spent $53 dollars per person in the state on education compared to second ranked Wyoming that spent $413 per person. The U.S. average spending per capita is $170.
While the news is bad, other more recent data in the NEA’s report show Idaho improving slightly in other categories. Comparing reports for the last 11 years, recent data shows Idaho climbing up from the bottom of the list in expenditures per student and average teacher salaries.
While salaries do not look good for teachers across the country, in the last two NEA annual reports, the average salary for Idaho teaches has seen a rise in comparison to other states. In constant dollars, over the last decade teacher salaries have decreased nationwide by 3.2 percent. When compared to other states, Idaho has risen from a low of 42nd among states in 2009-2010 to 31st in 2012-2013.
When it comes to expenditures per student, Idaho is doing better as well when compared to other states. Idaho has moved up from a low of 48th in 2010-2011 (using average daily attendance figures) to 41st in 2012-2013. When adjusted for inflation, however, between 2008 and 2014 Idaho showed a decrease of $930 per student education spending, a 16 percent decline.