As the summer comes to an end and children put on their backpacks and lace up their sneakers for the new school year, let’s look at what kind of school system they are entering. More Spending: $11,800 per Pupil Education expenditures have reached new heights. This year, the national average per-pupil funding exceeds $11,800 annually—that’s $500 more per student than last year and a 50 percent increase since 1996. At this rate, a child entering kindergarten today can expect to have no less than $153,400 spent on his or her education by high school graduation. The total expense to taxpayers for K–12 education exceeds $591 billion this year. Yet, despite large increases in per-pupil spending, educational achievement has hardly improved.