When congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) it included a single sentence that has a big impact on data collection and reporting. That sentence requires report cards to include: “[t]he per-pupil expenditures of Federal, State, and local funds, including actual personnel expenditures and actual nonpersonnel expenditures of Federal, State, and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds, for each local educational agency and each school in the State for the preceding fiscal year.”

The requirement is an exciting opportunity to access and use better quality data around financial transparency. It is also a challenge as states move from their existing requirement of district level financial reporting to school-based reports.

The Ed-Fi Community has let us know that financial data reporting is a top priority. In response to that, we are forming a Financial Workgroup to expand and operationalize the finance domain to meet state needs around reporting for financial transparency.

We will be guided in this work by recommendations provided by the Financial Transparency Workgroup (FiTWiG) – a network of 39 states and 20+ school districts convened by the Edunomics Lab and the Council of Chief State School Officers working on meeting this requirement and their own transparency goals.   The FiTWiG recently released the Interstate Financial Reporting (IFR) document which lays out a set of key per-pupil expenditure data.

Our goal by creating the Finance Workgroup will be to build the data model and API endpoints to enable states to securely collect this data for their reporting purposes.

Importantly, we have strong Ed-Fi Community leadership and several national partners to help guide the work, including:

  • Arizona Department of Education
  • Georgia Department of Education
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Clayton County Public Schools
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Common Education Data Standards
  • Certica Solutions
  • Collaborative Sytems and Services
  • BrightBytes
  • UPD Consulting

As we form this workgroup we are also excited to partner with the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) to align existing financial elements and co-develop any new elements as outlined in our Collaboration Guidelines. This is a great opportunity to bring the standards community together to serve state and district needs.

If you are interested in engaging with this workgroup, please contact Maureen Wentworth on the Ed-Fi Alliance staff at Maureen.wentworth@ed-fi.org or 202-213-4017.