Facts and Figures About School Expenditures: Instruction Compared to Transportation

Last Updated: January 26, 2014

This article appeared in the January 2014 Rural Policy Matters.

Question: Which state spends least on instruction compared to its expenditures for transportation?

Answer: West Virginia. For every dollar the state spending transporting students to and from school, it spends only $6.92 on instruction. By comparison, Vermont spends $16.62 on instruction for every dollar it spends on transportation.

Transportation expenditures are largely a function of distance. Longer bus routes mean more spending on gas, maintenance, and fleet replacement. West Virginia has a highly consolidated school system, with many counties operating only one school at each grade level, therefore bus routes tend to be lengthy throughout the state. In addition, West Virginia’s mountainous terrain adds to transportation costs.

Source: Why Rural Matters, 2011–12.

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Rural Policy Matters.

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