Does the U.S. Spend More on Prisons Than Education?

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Numerous times I’ve heard people state America spends more on prisons than schools. Pretty damning

statement for the United States but is it true? Here is what I found.

First from the National Center for Education Statistics

Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States amounted to $632 billion in 2010–11

Just today Rolling Stone magazine released an article about prisons and estimated prison costs.

Americans spend more than $80 billion a year keeping our fellow citizens on lockdown.


That prison figure touted includes all levels (local/state/jail).

So no, the United States does not spend more on prisons than education.

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