Dec 4, 2020

What’s the State of Your State? Tracking the Utility and Usefulness of ESSA Per-Pupil Expenditure Data

Hannah Jarmolowski
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The deadline for the publication of ESSA-required school-by-school financial information has passed. After examining every state across the country, we’re now ready to answer:

  • Which states met the deadline?
  • Are the data any good?
  • Are they in a format that is easy to understand and use?
  • Can they offer a lens on equity?
  • How can leaders use the data to help navigate the current financial crisis?
  • What can be done to ensure these valuable data get used?

The short answer: It varies widely from state to state. While many states have met the law’s basic requirements, others are building meaningful displays to help drive usages of the data to improve education.

For a more in-depth look at individual states, check out this new tool: Tracking the Utility and Usefulness of ESSA Per Pupil Expenditure Data. Covering all 50 states and DC, the tracker measures whether states are meeting four ESSA requirements as well as other benchmarks to ensure school spending data are complete, useful, and usable. It also notes where  accuracy or accessibility can be improved. The tracker will be updated regularly as states resolve data concerns and add useful features.

To learn more about the tracker and the state of your state(s) join the conversation December 8th at 1pm ET. Register here. We’ll also cover what the election results mean for state education finance and fiscal insolvency. Questions? Email Hannah Jarmolowski at

For an earlier summary of how states did on reporting, see the 2-pager "Taking Stock of School-by-School Spending Data."