Phila. district spends less per pupil than most other cities

Posted by Philadelphia Inquirer on February 16, 2015

By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer

Compared with big-city peers, the Philadelphia School District spends less per pupil than almost any other education system in the country – even Detroit’s.

Philadelphia’s per-pupil price tag last school year was $12,570 – the lowest of any comparable district except Memphis, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; and Dallas, the Pew Charitable Trusts concluded in a report released Thursday.

Detroit spent $13,419 per student, and Boston, at the top of the peer-district list, spent $18,626.

Pennsylvania is one of just three states that lack an education funding formula, and city schools have paid the price in recent years, with many unable to fund full-time guidance counselors or after-school activities. With the state now headed toward such a formula, Pew examined the funding landscape in a national context.

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