Public elementary and secondary education revenue fell in fiscal year 2012 for the first time since 1977, when the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting public education finance data annually. Public elementary and secondary school systems received $594.5 billion in total revenue in fiscal year 2012, down $4.9 billion, or 0.8 percent, from fiscal year 2011, according to a Census report issued in late May.
The report provides figures on revenue, expenditures, debt and assets of the nation’s elementary and secondary public school systems. The report also includes detailed statistics on spending — such as instruction, student transportation, salaries and employee benefits — at the national, state and school district levels.
State governments were the leading source of revenue ($270.4 billion), closely followed by revenue from local sources ($264.6 billion). Almost two-thirds, or 65.3 percent, of revenue from local sources came from property taxes. Public school systems received $59.5 billion in revenue from the federal government, a decrease of $14.2 billion, 19.2 percent, from the previous fiscal year.
In Arkansas, elementary and secondary school revenue totaled $5.2 billion in FY 2012. Of that amount, $666.3 million, or 13 percent, came from federal sources, $3.8 billion, or 73 percent, came from the state, and $662.2 million, or 13 percent, came from local sources. (The percentages don’t add up to 100 because of rounding.)