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There is another slight structural problem in your proposed sentence;
as it stands, you wrote:
"While the average per capita educational expenditure for a junior high school student in Shanghai was RMB1535.83 in 1995, it was RMB311.86 in Sichuan"
This appears to be contrasting 'in 1995' with 'in Sichuan'; I feel it would read better were you to write something more along the lines of:
"While the average per capita educational expenditure in 1995 for a junior high school student was RMB1535.83 in Shanghai, in Sichuan it was RMB311.86"
Automatic update in 00:
22 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +7
'it' is fine
Explanation: I would use 'it'.
Alita Balbi Brazil Local time: 15:20 Native speaker of: Portuguese PRO pts in category: 4