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ERIC Number: ED556788
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
Accounting for Resource Use at the School-Level and Below: The Missing Link in Education Administration and Policy Making. Working Paper #09-06
Denison, Dwight V.; Stiefel, Leanna; Hartman, William; Deegan, Michele Moser
Institute for Education and Social Policy
A long standing debate among policymakers as well as researchers is whether and how funding affects the quality of education. Often missing from the discussion is information about the costs of providing education at the school level and below, yet such information could impart a better indication of the linkages between outcomes and resources than is available with more macro-level data. In addition, because No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and state accountability systems often require reporting of performance at the grade or school level, micro-level cost information would be useful to school administrators as they try to allocate resources productively. In this paper, we analyze the challenges involved in establishing a system to track costs at the school, grade, and subject level that will fit the needs of both internal and external users. To begin, we review the literature on cost accounting that is relevant to micro-level costs and the research that analyzes sub-district level resources. Next, we describe general challenges that arise in reporting at the level of the school and below and we then discuss school-level reporting in practice. We follow with a case study of an improved reporting system that links resource use, student demographic characteristics, and student outcomes at the school, grade and subject level. We conclude with recommendations for states when constructing such systems. The following tables are appended: (1) Comparison of Approaches in Addressing the Challenges of Producing School-Level Reports; (2) Sources of Data for Pennsylvania School-Level Reports; (3a) Example of School Summary Report for Sample Elementary School; and (3b) Example of Fifth Grade Summary Report for Sample Elementary School.
Institute for Education and Social Policy. New York University, Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP)
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305E050089