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Financial Transparency

& Reporting

ESSA Financial Transparency Reporting Requirements


Building State Capacity and Productivity Center partner Edunomics Lab has received Department of Education funding to guide and support a working group of SEAs and LEAs in their efforts on financial transparency.  ESSA requires states to annually report per-pupil expenditures including actual personnel and non-personnel expenditures, disaggregated by source of funds, for each LEA and each school in the state for the preceding fiscal year.

Why is this new requirement such a big deal?

For years we’ve measured student outcomes by school, but haven’t had the financial data to know how much is spent on behalf of each school. Pairing these data will produce new information that can drive productivity and equity improvements within systems. Accounting for and reporting spending by school will be a new challenge for many states and districts where finances aren’t currently tracked or reported by school. Even where financial information exists, SEAs will need to integrate financial data with other data and create metrics and visualizations that produce value for the system.


The real upside of the requirement is that it presents an opportunity for SEAs to build an information system that helps schools/districts leverage their dollars to do the most for students. School and district leaders will be able to see what kinds of spending work best with different student populations and schooling contexts, and can benchmark their own progress toward getting the most for the dollars they have.


Key BSCP Center Activities

Financial Transparency and Reporting Resources

Productivity Webinar Series

Visit Edunomics Lab

The BSCP Center is funded by a cooperative agreement (#S283B120042) between the U.S. Department of Education and Edvance Research, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Westat. The findings and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the U.S. Department of Education.

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