Total spending by public school districts, divided by total pupils.
Higher spending for schools can mean better facilities, programs, and a greater range of opportunities available to students. It may also signal public support for education and a better paid, more experienced teaching workforce. However, studies have found higher spending does not necessarily lead to higher student achievement, given the many factors that contribute to student success, including parental and community influences.
In 2016, school districts in Essex County spent about $15,200 per student, less than the statewide level of $15,900. This was a 10% decrease, since 2008, in both Essex County and the state.
The highest spending districts in Essex County were Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Technical ($20,900) and Essex County Agricultural Technical ($20,100 per student). Outside the vocational schools, spending was highest in Salem ($19,200) and lowest in North Andover and Haverhill (both at $12,900).
Essex County's spending was below Middlesex, MA, which spent $16,700 per student in 2016 and Westchester, NY ($26,800).
Figures have been adjusted to 2016 dollars. Per pupil expenditures are calculated by dividing a district's operating costs by its average enrollment across the school year. Comparable data were not available for Lake, IL.