There's a strong correlation between per-pupil spending and the quality of public education in America. And as it turns out, not all state funding is created equal.
High poverty rates and lower local contributions to districts are typically part of the problem. In some districts, a lack of funding means a couple of things: It's common for the number of teachers to decrease and class sizes to increase. Also, resources may dwindle and student support programs and extracurriculars could be cut.
The Census Bureau recently released their 2011 report revealing not only how much states are spending per pupil, but also where states are choosing to spend their money.
Some states spend heavily on instructional costs: teacher salaries, pension benefits, and school supplies. Others syphon funds to student support services in the form of counselors, administrators, nurses, and special aides.
This year, there was competition for the title of the biggest spender. Click through the gallery to see if your state is one of the five that spends the most—or the least.
Photo: John Moore/Getty Images