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School Spending Data: A New National Data Archive

Marguerite Roza, Lucy Hadley, and Hannah Jarmolowski
Published January 2021 by National Comprehensive Center

Published by the National Comprehensive Center, this paper introduces the new School Spending Data Archive, which will capture school-by-school spending figures reported by each state (as required by ESSA). The data are being aggregated, normed, and made comparable, publicly accessible, and aligned with other national-scale data sets, including those with student demographics and outcomes.

The paper describes how these new state data differ from other attempts to capture school-level financials, and how the archive will be a repository for school-by-school spending data that is reliable and useful for researchers by: 

  • Building apples-to-apples comparisons across districts, states, and years
  • Providing research-ready data that can easily be merged with existing data sets
  • Preserving longitudinal or cross-state data

The School Spending Data Archive will usher in the next generation of education research by enabling easier cost-benefit analysis and new research on equity, innovation, and productivity at the school level.