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ESSA Financial Reporting Requirement

Three Action Steps to Build Equity

Under ESSA, districts must report per-pupil spending at the LEA and school level using actual salary data. This new level of financial transparency aims to promote equity across schools. But to ensure equity, where schools get comparable resources based on student need, stakeholders need to make sure states take certain steps. 

  1. Report Accurately
    Work toward a rigorous and accurate method for calculating school-level per-pupil spending: This will more likely result in informative numbers that enable comparisons within districts and states.
  2. Communicate
    Understand school-level spending differences by incorporating schools’ contexts: All differences in per-pupil spending are not driven by equity-related issues; you need to dig deeper to see what’s driving the differences. 
  3. Expand
    Track resources beyond dollars: Per-pupil spending is only one type of resource equity. Students can be served in schools with high spending but be under-resourced in other important ways, such as course offerings, teacher and leader expertise, or extra time and support for students to catch-up.

Download our ESSA handout for the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) member's meeting and policy summit, taking place on October 6-7, 2016 in Atlanta, GA: ESSA Financial Reporting Requirement (PDF)

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