This was the biggest drop in state funding on education since the bureau began tracking it in 1977, statisticians said. Overall funding was almost flat at $593.7 billion in 2010, up 0.5 percent from the year before.
Public school districts spent a total of $602.6 million, down 0.4 percent from 2009. This was the first decline in overall spending since 1977.
The bureau released "Public Education Finances: 2010," which provides statistics on everything from teacher salaries to spending for student transportation.
Local governments contributed $261.4 billion or 44 percent of the total and states almost as much, $258.2 billion or 43.5 percent. The federal government kicked in $74 billion or 12.5 percent, up 32 percent from 2009.