In the 50 years since the War on Poverty began, school spending has skyrocketed, but so have disparities in how much states dedicate to K-12 education.
Only $4,000 separated per-pupil spending from the states at the top and bottom of per-pupil rankings back in 1969, the earliest comparable data available from the U.S. Department of Education. But in 2009-10, that inflation-adjusted difference stood at $14,673 per student. That year, the District of Columbia spent an average of $20,000 on each student in its schools. In Utah, the lowest per-pupil spending state, just barely more than $6,000 was spent on average.