School District Finances in the Capital Region for the 2021-22 School Year



Among the four Capital Region counties, Albany County has the highest public school enrollment, with 38,221 students, while Rensselaer County has the lowest enrollment with 18,938 students. Since Albany County has a larger population, it is reasonable to expect a higher number of students attending public schools. Similarly, lower populations in Schenectady and Rensselaer would naturally have fewer students enrolled. To obtain more comprehensive enrollment information and graduation rates, supplementary data from the Census can be valuable.

Total Expenditures

Expenditures in public schools are often correlated with school size, and this is evident in Albany County, which has the largest student population and consequently exhibits the highest revenue and expenditures. In contrast, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties, with smaller populations and school enrollment, receive and allocate funding at similar levels, which are lower compared to Albany County. Saratoga County is positioned between Albany and Rensselaer/Schenectady Counties, in terms of funding and expenditures. More information on Capital District School Finances can be found here.

Per Pupil Expenditures

CDRPC utilized New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) data to visualize the cost per pupil at the district level. To provide context, let’s examine the average expense per pupil for each county in the capital region and for the entire state of New York:

  • Albany County: $20,450.46
  • Rensselaer County: $21,107.16
  • Saratoga County: $18,402.38
  • Schenectady County: $19,505.40
  • New York State: $25,870.33

The majority of school districts in the Capital Region spent between $16,000 and $25,000 per pupil for the 2021-22 school year. However, several school districts exceeded this range. These districts include Albany City CSD ($26,000), Berne-Knox-Westerlo CSD ($28,000), and Berlin CSD ($30,000), all of which are located in Albany County. In addition, two school districts, North Greenbush Common School District ($39,000) and Edinburg Common School District ($40,000), deviate significantly above the range that most school districts in the Capital Region had. Higher costs per pupil could be related to extremely low enrollment, which both North Greenbush Common School District and Edinburg Common School District exhibit. Low enrollment could be related to COVID-19, however, both school districts have had historically low enrollment. Notably, there appears to be no correlation between schools located in cities versus suburban areas and per pupil expenses.