|Data from http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy11/pdf/hist.pdf|
The 2010 through 2012 figures are estimates. But CATO included the 2010 estimate, so why not the rest of the picture so that we could see it comes back down?
What happens if we adjust for inflation and population?
Not only does the brief boost go away, but it looks like its going to go below 2005 levels.
Update: for a little pre-2005 context, see Education Spending, the Prequel (pre-2005).