Updates to public education financial survey called for

The only source of annual statistics about total revenue and expenditures for public elementary and secondary education at the state level needs changes in light of COVID, according to the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.
By: | January 11, 2021
Getty Images, Thitiwat Junkasemkullanunt / EyeEmGetty Images, Thitiwat Junkasemkullanunt / EyeEm

The U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is requesting to amend the National Public Education Financial Survey to change certain indicators that have been affected by COVID-19.

NPEFS “is the nation’s only source of annual statistical information about total revenues and expenditures for public elementary and secondary education at the state level,” NCES wrote in a Dec. 22 Federal Register notice of a 30-day comment period and request for approval by the Office of Management and Budget. The survey “provides detailed finance data at the state level, including average daily attendance; school district revenues by source (local, state, and federal); and expenditures by function (instruction, support services, and non-instruction), sub-function (e.g., school administration), and object (e.g., salaries).”

Specifically, the Federal Register notice says NCES is requesting approval for the following changes:

  • Amend the instructions for average daily attendance.
  • Obtain approval to send a letter to chief state school officers and state fiscal coordinators on average daily attendance.
  • Amend data plan and add data items for NPEFS.
  • Make other “small changes” to FY 2020 NPEFS.
  • Change estimated response burden and costs related to the other changes.

NCES says the survey is important as it “serves as both a statistical and an administrative collection used for a number of federal program funding allocations,” and it is a component of the Common Core of Data, the main database for public elementary and secondary education in the U.S.

To comment on the proposed changes by Jan. 21, go to regulations.gov and search for docket number ED-2020-SCC-0196.

Charles Hendrix covers education funding and other Title I issues for TitleIAdmin, a DA sister publication.