There never seems to be enough of the green stuff to go around, and sometimes songs are written about it, like Abba’s “Money, Money, Money,” which starts off with:

“I work all night, I work all day to pay the bills I have to payAin’t it sad?And still there never seems to be a single penny left for meThat’s too bad…”


According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in the first quarter of 2023:

  • U.S. Household debt rose by $148 billion (0.9%) to $17.05 trillion, $2.9 trillion more than at the end of 2019 before the pandemic recession.
    • During that period, credit card debt stood at $986 billion.
    • During that period, total mortgage debt hit $12.04 trillion.
  • As for the government, the gross federal debt hit $32.69 trillion.

Some of those dollars funded our public schools. With thanks to Education Week’s Mark Lieberman and the Census Bureau, in fiscal 2021…

** Via state, local, and federal taxes, K-12 school funding came in at $809 billion, up from $$771 billion in 2020.

** 10.5% of school funding came from such federal sources at Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 45% came from state aid, with 44% from local tax revenues.

** South Dakota and Michigan got more than 19% of their yearly education funding from the federal government; Connecticut, on the other hand, received just a bit more than 5%.

** On average, we spent $14,347 per K-12 student, up from $13,501 in fiscal 2020 and $10,608 in 2010.

** Arizona, Idaho, and Utah spent less than $10,000 per student, averaging $9,600.

** Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and D.C. spent, on average, $20,000 per student.

** Roughly 82% of K-12 funding paid for staff salaries and benefits.

** About 7.5% of K-12 funding paid for compensated school and district administrators.

And finally…

$20.8 billion of K-12 school funding went to pay off outstanding school district debt stemming from building construction, renovation, and other long-term projects. That figure “represents 2.5% of our overall investment in K-12 schools.”

And one more thing: As of fiscal 2021, our schools carried $533 billion in debt that still hasn’t been paid off.

~ With thanks and good summer wishes, Carol