State, Local Spending on Prisons Outpaces Education Funding

July 8, 2016

State and local government spending on prisons and jails increased by 89 percent between 1990 and 2013, while state and local appropriations for higher education remained flat, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education. During that same time period, 46 states reduced higher education spending per full-time-equivalent student, the department found. On average, the report said state and local higher education funding per student fell by 28 percent while per capita spending on corrections increased by 44 percent.

“Budgets reflect our values, and the trends revealed in this analysis are a reflection of our nation’s priorities that should be revisited,” U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr. said in a written statement.

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