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Financial Transparency

Financial Transparency

Making per-pupil expenditures down to the school level public​

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to annually report for every public school and local educational agency the total per-pupil spending of federal, state and local money disaggregated by source of funds for the preceding fiscal year. This includes actual (not average) spending on personnel.

NERD$ is the first-ever national dataset of public K-12 spending by school, compiling the data into one easy-to-access, permanent location.

For years, public reporting centered on district and state per-pupil averages, which can mask big school-by-school spending differences. Now, education leaders, policymakers and the public can see what is spent on students in every school across the country. Making school-level financial data publicly accessible will make it much easier to investigate the relationship between spending and outcomes (something states have reported for years) and help drive improvements in educational productivity and equity.

Financial Decision-Making Working Group (FIDWiG)

Hosted by Edunomics Lab, FiDWiG is a collaboration between state education agencies (SEAs) on how to leverage financial transparency for data-driven decision-making. FiDWiG created a set of voluntary, minimal reporting criteria, the Interstate Financial Reporting, to ensure per-pupil expenditure measures have common meaning across states.

To learn more about this working group email us at

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