Aimee+Shawn

Any parent in Nevada knows the state seems not to make the grade. Year after year, Nevada ranks at or near the bottom when it comes to education. Also near the bottom of the list is how much Nevada spends per student. Governor Lombardo said in Monday’s State Of The State that he wants to increase Nevada education spending.

The proposed number he has thrown out is two billion dollars to prop up the amount spent per student from the current $10,290 to $12,406 – which would make Nevada go from near the bottom to towards the national average.

That money could mean paying teachers a better wage, which would help school systems like the Clark County School District help retain great talent. It could mean more resources and technology available to kids to help them make the grade. While the budget is proposed, it’s up to Carson City to pass it starting next month when the next legislative session gets underway.

Does more money mean Nevada education will improve?

Depending on who you ask, more money means better results in the classroom – or doesn’t make a lick of difference. The National Education Association says plainly more money means better results. An OpEd in The Hill says it doesn’t always mean better results. The Brookings Institute says “it’s not nothing,” putting the emphasis on long-term funding, as short term infusions of cash don’t see results.

Whatever the case is, Governor Lombardo makes it clear while he wants to increase investment, if it doesn’t move the needle the next step is a change in the education structure in the state.

Is money the answer? Or is something else at play?

We painstakingly went through the ratings and have come up with a list of the states and their funding, from least funded to most. We’ve also found the education ranking in each state. Now you can decide if there is a correlation or not.

There are some outlier states like Utah and Colorado that are dead last in spending but significantly better in education rating. Meanwhile other states that spend through the roof, like Wyoming and Alaska, severely underperform against their spending. The average difference between ranking and spending is 11.3 positions. 17 states were within 5 positions of spending and ranking.

A closer correlation can be made when it comes to the state’s poverty rate compared to it’s education ranking. The average difference between the state’s education ranking and poverty rate is only 9.12 spots… with again 17 states being within 5 positions comparing poverty rate and education ranking. The higher the poverty rate, the higher the likelihood of less parental oversight and less access to resources. That can obviously lead to worse results. Utah has the lowest spending per student, but the 2nd best poverty rate. They find themselves at number 21 in school rating. Meanwhile Louisiana has the 22nd highest spending, but is 2nd from the bottom in poverty rate. They rate 46th in education. So while funding the schools is good, having a well funded populace seems to be better.

Whatever the case, we aren’t complaining. With as much money that comes into this state, Las Vegas especially, there’s no excuse for being at the bottom of the funding list.

  • 50) Utah (significantly outperforms spending)

    Utah

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    Funding Per Pupil: $7,954

    US News & World Report Ranking: 21st (That outperforms spending by 29 spots – an impressive feat.)

    Poverty Rate: 8.28% (2nd)

  • 49) Idaho (significantly outperforms spending)

    Idaho

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    Funding Per Pupil: $8,141

    US News & World Report Ranking: 23rd (outperforms spending by 26 spots – impressive!)

    Poverty Rate: 10.71% (22nd)

  • 48) Tennessee (significantly outperforms spending)

    Tennessee

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    Funding Per Pupil: $8,324

    US News & World Report Ranking: 31st

    Poverty Rate: 13.63% (41st)

  • 47) Arizona (on pace with spending)

    Arizona

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    Funding Per Pupil: $8,882

    US News & World Report Ranking: 47th

    Poverty Rate: 13.42% (40th)

  • 46) Mississippi (on pace with spending)

    Mississippi

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    Funding Per Pupil: $8,919

    US News & World Report Ranking: 43rd

    Poverty Rate: 19.07% (50th)

  • 45) Oklahoma (on pace with spending)

    Oklahoma

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    Funding Per Pupil: $9,353

    US News & World Report Ranking: 44th

    Poverty Rate: 14.56% (43rd)

  • 44) Alabama (on pace with spending)

    Alabama

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    Funding Per Pupil: $9,636

    US News & World Report Ranking: 45th

    Poverty Rate: 14.96% (44th)

  • 43) South Dakota (outperforms spending)

    South Dakota

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    Funding Per Pupil: $9,913

    US News & World Report Ranking: 29th

    Poverty Rate: 11.98% (29th)

  • 42) Arkansas (on pace with spending)

    Arkansas

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    Funding Per Pupil: $9,976

    US News & World Report Ranking: 38th

    Poverty Rate: 15.47% (45th)

  • 41) Kentucky (outperforms spending)

    Kentucky

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,010

    US News & World Report Ranking: 33rd

    Poverty Rate: 15.76% (46th)

  • 40) Florida (significantly outperforms spending)

    Florida

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,098

    US News & World Report Ranking: 16th

    Poverty Rate: 12.40% (32nd)

  • 39) Colorado (significantly outperforms spending)

    Colorado

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,171

    US News & World Report Ranking: 7th

    Poverty Rate: 9.07% (7th)

  • 38) Nevada (underperforms spending)

    Nevada

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,305

    US News & World Report Ranking: 48th

    Poverty Rate: 11.83% (27th)

  • 37) Texas (on pace with spending)

    Texas

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,314

    US News & World Report Ranking: 35th

    Poverty Rate: 13.13% (36th)

  • 36) Missouri (outperforms spending)

    Missouri

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,457

    US News & World Report Ranking: 26th

    Poverty Rate: 12.46% (33rd)

  • 35) North Carolina (significantly outperforms spending)

    North Carolina

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,613

    US News & World Report Ranking: 15th

    Poverty Rate: 13.18% (37th)

  • 34) South Carolina (underperforms spending)

    South Carolina

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,719

    US News & World Report Ranking: 42nd

    Poverty Rate: 13.79% (42nd)

  • 33) Oregon (on pace with spending)

    Oregon

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,862

    US News & World Report Ranking: 37th

    Poverty Rate: 11.62% (25th)

  • 32) Georgia (on pace with spending)

    Georgia

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,893

    US News & World Report Ranking: 30th

    Poverty Rate: 13.26% (39th)

  • 31) West Virginia (underperforms spending)

    West Virginia

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    Funding Per Pupil: $10,984

    US News & World Report Ranking: 41st

    Poverty Rate: 16.90% (47th)

  • 30) Montana (underperforms spending)

    Montana

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,266

    US News & World Report Ranking: 36th

    Poverty Rate: 11.91% (28th)

  • 29) New Mexico (significantly underperforms spending

    New Mexico

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,266

    US News & World Report Ranking: 50th

    Poverty Rate: 17.85% (48th)

  • 28) Iowa (on pace with spending)

    Iowa

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,266

    US News & World Report Ranking: 24th

    Poverty Rate: 10.49% (17th)

  • 27) Washington (significantly outperforms spending)

    Washington

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,510

    US News & World Report Ranking: 11th

    Poverty Rate: 9.39% (11th)

  • 26) California (underperforms spending)

    California

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,588

    US News & World Report Ranking: 40th

    Poverty Rate: 12.07% (30th)

  • 25) North Dakota (underperforms spending)

    North Dakota

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,664

    US News & World Report Ranking: 34th

    Poverty Rate: 9.55% (10th)

  • 24) Nebraska (outperforms spending)

    Nebraska

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,796

    US News & World Report Ranking: 13th

    Poverty Rate: 9.68% (13th)

  • 23) Kansas (on pace with spending)

    Kansas

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,939

    US News & World Report Ranking: 27th

    Poverty Rate: 10.92% (23th)

  • 22) Louisiana (significantly underperforms spending)

    Louisiana

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,967

    US News & World Report Ranking: 46th

    Poverty Rate: 18.00% (49th)

  • 21) Michigan (underperforms spending)

    Michigan

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,987

    US News & World Report Ranking: 32nd

    Poverty Rate: 13.19% (38th)

  • 20) Virginia (outperforms spending)

    Virginia

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    Funding Per Pupil: $11,967

    US News & World Report Ranking: 10th

    Poverty Rate: 9.37% (9th)

  • 19) Indiana (outperforms spending)

    Indiana

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    Funding Per Pupil: $12,360

    US News & World Report Ranking: 9th

    Poverty Rate: 12.19% (31st)

  • 18) Wisconsin (outperforms spending)

    Wisconsin

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    Funding Per Pupil: $12,435

    US News & World Report Ranking: 8th

    Poverty Rate: 10.43% (16th)

  • 17) Illinois (outperforms spending)

    Illinois

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    Funding Per Pupil: $12,457

    US News & World Rep0rt Ranking: 6th

    Poverty Rate: 11.62% (26th)

  • 16) Minnesota (on pace with spending)

    Minnesota

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    Funding Per Pupil: $12,664

    US News & World Report Ranking: 18th

    Poverty Rate: 8.77% (5th)

  • 15) Ohio (underperforming spending)

    Ohio

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    Funding Per Pupil: $12,811

    US News & World Report Ranking: 20th

    Poverty Rate: 13.02% (35th)

  • 14) Maine (on pace with spending)

    Maine

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    Funding Per Pupil: $13,666

    US News & World Report Ranking: 12th

    Poverty Rate: 10.52% (19th)

  • 13) New Hampshire (outperforms spending)

    New Hampshire

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    Funding Per Pupil: $13,725

    US News & World Report Ranking: 4th

    Poverty Rate: 6.98% (1st)

  • 12) Delaware (underperforms spending)

    Delaware

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    Funding Per Pupil: $14,335

    US News & World Report Ranking: 22nd

    Poverty Rate: 10.58% (20th)

  • 11) Hawaii (significantly underperforms spending)

    Hawaii

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    Funding Per Pupil: $14,987

    US News & World Report Ranking: 28th

    Poverty Rate: 8.62% (4th)

  • 10) Pennsylvania (underperforms spending)

    Pennsylvania

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    Funding Per Pupil: $15,023

    US News & World Report Ranking: 17th

    Poverty Rate: 11.31% (24th)

  • 9) Rhode Island (significantly underperforms spending)

    Rhode Island

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    Funding Per Pupil: $15,023

    US News & World Report Ranking: 17th

    Poverty Rate: 10.60% (21st)

  • 8) Maryland (underperforms spending)

    Maryland

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    Funding Per Pupil: $15,574

    US News & World Report Ranking: 14th

    Poverty Rate: 8.44% (3rd)

  • 7) Massachusetts (outperforms spending)

    Massachusetts

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    Funding Per Pupil: $16,270

    US News & World Report Ranking: 2nd

    Poverty Rate: 9.11% (9th)

  • 6) Alaska (SIGNIFICANTLY underperforms spending)

    Alaska

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    Funding Per Pupil: $16,576

    US News & World Report Ranking: 49th

    Poverty Rate: 10.05% (15th)

  • 5) Vermont (on pace with spending)

    Vermont

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    Funding Per Pupil: $17,108

    US News & World Report Ranking: 5th

    Poverty Rate: 9.98% (14th)

  • 4) Connecticut (on pace with spending)

    Connecticut

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    Funding Per Pupil: $17,373

    US News & World Report Ranking: 3rd

    Poverty Rate: 9.38% (10th)

  • 3) New Jersey (on pace with spending)

    New Jersey

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    Funding Per Pupil: $18,874

    US News & World Report Ranking: 1st

    Poverty Rate: 8.93% (6th)

  • 2) Wyoming (SIGNIFICANTLY underperforms spending)

    Wyoming

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    Funding Per Pupil: $19,238

    US News & World Report Ranking: 39th

    Poverty Rate: 10.50% (18th)

  • 1) New York (significantly underperforms spending)

    New York

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    Funding Per Pupil: $20,645

    US News & World Report Ranking: 19th

    Poverty Rate: 12.62% (34th)