Child's backpack
James V. Shuls

When Congress updated No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, many hailed the new legislation for increasing transparency and reducing the federal government’s role in education (though it still plays a pretty big role). Among other things, ESSA required states to report how much money is spent at the school level. In the past, finances were only calculated for school districts. District-level reporting often masked significant differences among schools within a district. On December 12, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary education released the school-level spending data.

In the coming weeks, Susan Pendergrass and others at the Show-Me Institute will dive deeper into the numbers. For now, I want to take a quick look at the data to show the schools in the St. Louis area (St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County) with the highest and lowest spending. I display the top and bottom ten high schools and elementary schools.

High school spending

Elementary School Spending

For a similar report on Columbia, Missouri, schools, check out the Columbia Missourian.

About the Author

James Shuls
James Shuls
Distinguished Fellow of Education Policy

James V. Shuls is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Distinguished Fellow in Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute.