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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires all state education agencies to report “per pupil expenditures of Federal, State, and local funds, including actual personnel expenditures and actual nonpersonnel expenditures of Federal, State, and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds, for each local educational agency and each school in the State for the preceding fiscal year,” (SEC 1111(h)(1)(C)(x)). Additionally, the state must ensure each local education agency collects the appropriate data and provides this information in their annual report (SEC 1111(h)(2)(C)).

ESSA requirements necessitated a change to some dimension codes within the Iowa Chart of Account Coding. Effective with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, the updated coding will be used for reporting district financial information in the Certified Annual Report (CAR). The State of Iowa’s federal accountability system will be supported by this elevated focus on school level financial transparency.

Department staff worked with districts across the state and the Department's School-Level Reporting Advisory to develop and implement Statewide School-Level Financial Coding Practices beginning with FY19 reporting. Per pupil expenditure amounts, generally available the summer following the close of the fiscal year, are released as part of the Iowa School Performance Profiles.

Per pupil expenditure amounts, while informative, provide an incomplete framework in which to understand statewide, district, or school expenditure levels. A wide range of per pupil expenditure values exist as the result of a multitude of district and school differences statewide. Some of these differences include enrollment, geography, salary schedules, teacher tenure, programming, additionally funded programs, local coding practices, and additional revenue sources. Examples of revenue variances may include local, state, or federal grants and payments (e.g., Early Literacy Implementation, Title funding, Perkins funding, and National School Lunch Program); local tax levies (e.g., Cash Reserve Levy, Physical Plant & Equipment Levy, and Management Fund Levy); transportation fees or equity payments; enterprise operations (e.g., construction program); funding for specially funded programs (e.g., special education and English Language Learners); operational sharing; tax payments (e.g., property tax payments); enrollment make-up (e.g., tuition-in or tuition-out students); student activity program; and donations from private sources. A broader look at statewide differences may be found in the document below titled “Per Pupil Expenditure Amounts in Context”.

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Guidance Resources

Per Pupil Expenditure Amounts in Context

Statewide School-Level Financial Coding Practices Version 3 (PDF)

School Level Reporting Summary Sheet (PDF)

Accessible Versions

Statewide School-Level Financial Coding Practices Version 3 (Word) (pages 1–11, 13–15)

Accountability and Coding Matrix (Excel) (page 12)

School Level Reporting Summary Sheet (Excel)


General questions about implementation can be directed to Kassandra Cline. Questions about coding can be directed to Jina Brincks or Song Luong.

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