WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos launched a new user-friendly website today that clearly shows how much money each school spends per student. The tool will radically increase transparency as parents and local leaders seek to understand funding levels and differences between schools. States are required by the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to provide this funding information called Per Pupil Expenditure (PPE). Unfortunately, each state provides the information in different ways and places—some more transparently than others. Under Secretary DeVos’ direction, state data will be aggregated and made easily accessible and searchable at studentspending.ed.gov.
“Parents are increasingly attuned to how their schools are—or aren’t—meeting their students’ needs,” said Secretary DeVos. “They need tools to advocate for reforms, and good decision-making requires transparent, actionable information that, unfortunately, isn’t always easy to find. That’s why we’ve committed ourselves to fixing that. This new web tool clearly displays per pupil student funding at the building level so parents can see how their money is being spent on students. This is the level of transparency that states and districts should aspire to and that parents deserve.”
The tool displays the breakdown of federal, state, and local funds that make up the PPE for each school and district starting with the 2018-2019 school year—the first year that these data were required to be reported on state and local report cards under ESSA. The tool features an interactive map, individual state pages, and a downloadable Excel file. Users can search for individual districts and schools or filter by variables to permit comparisons within states. The new site will also allow users to sort, filter, and compare information between schools and districts within each state.
Currently, the website includes data available from the following 20 states for the 2018-19 school year: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia. The web tool will be updated as additional data become available from states.