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Reporting for Equity

How states and districts can use the ESSA school spending requirements to present data that matters

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires all states to report school-level spending data. This fall, the Department of Education released the first round of data on per-pupil expenditure as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As states continue to release new spending data, it will be possible for a variety of stakeholders to assess whether spending levels are equitable across schools — but only if that spending data is presented in actionable ways. ERS has developed 5 Reporting Principles to guide states and districts in sharing spending data in ways that will enable equity-focused conversations.  

Based on the reporting principles, we've written “Reporting for Equity: How States and Districts Can Use the ESSA School Spending Requirements to Present Data that Matters” to provide guidance for state-level practitioners who will design school spending reports, as well as district leaders who want to go beyond the state report card to use spending data in more equity-focused ways. 

Read the Guide


5 Principles of Equity-Focused Reporting 

     Spending reports should:
  1. Provide total per-pupil spending as well as a breakdown by source and location of spending
  2. Provide contextual information to help interpret differences in spending
  3. Provide comparative data on spending and need across districts and schools
  4. Include additional information on other resources that impact students’ experiences in schools
  5. Be clear and accessible
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