State and Local Expenditures on Corrections and Education

U.S. Department of Education,
Policy and Program Studies Service

July 2016

This policy brief examines state-by-state trends to compare the extent to which state and local governments are investing in education and in corrections. More specifically, this brief uses extant data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, and other sources to present a snapshot of the changes in state and local expenditures for corrections and education between two points in time — 1979–80 to 2012–13 — both nationally and by state. The research determined that all states had lower expenditure growth rates for PK–12 education than for corrections, and in the majority of the states, the rate of increase for corrections was more than 100 percentage points higher than the rate for education.

Read the Policy Brief