This data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Annual State Survey of Government Finances, which gives each state government’s general expenditures for each function it performs. The category of education expenditures comprises five separate expenditure groups, including elementary and secondary education, higher education, scholarships and other educational subsidies (Methodology for Summary Tabulations).
Education expenditures refers to the total amount spent by the state on education given in billions.
The education expenditures percentage is calculated as the amount spent on education divided by total government expenditures. Education expenditures per capita are calculated as the amount spent on education divided by the state population in the given year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Expenditures comprise all amounts of money paid out by a government during its fiscal year, with some exceptions. Statistics on state government finance include measurement of expenditures by character (e.g., current operations, capital outlay, intergovernmental expenditures, and so on) and function (e.g., education, health, public welfare, natural resources, and so on). Expenditure does not include a government's payment of its debt, or purchases of investment securities, loans it has granted, agency or private trust transactions, nor correcting transactions” (State Government Finances Methodology).
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual (Ch. 5, pp. 20-26), elementary and secondary education expenditures are any expenditures related to the operation, maintenance, and construction of any school from kindergarten to high school. Higher education expenditures consist of any costs associated with higher education activities, facilities, and services. Scholarships and other educational subsidies are state government direct cash payments to individuals for tuition, scholarships, and other financial aid to meet educational expenses. The last category includes state government special programs and institutions for training and education of people with any disability.