Hawaii spends $12,399 per student, landing it in 11th place on a U.S. Census ranking of states’ per-pupil spending.

But to say that Hawaii spends more money on education than 39 other states would be an oversimplification. The state is also tied for the highest cost of living in the nation. The price of paradise is a major contributing factor to why Hawaii’s education costs are rising.

The $12,399 in per-pupil spending represents a 12 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

The real cost per student could be even higher because roughly $517 million in annual benefits paid out to Department of Education employees are handled by the Department of Budget and Finance — not the education department. It is not clear whether the Census data takes that into account.

Read the original story at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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