Cracking the Books: How Well Do State Education Departments Report Public School Spending?

Arkansas

D
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 20.00 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 23.00 / 30
Average Salary Data 6.00 / 10
Public Accessibility 14.00 / 15
Total Score 63.00 / 100

Note: Scores reflect the data provided on each state's education department website as of December 31, 2012. For more information, please see the Grading Criteria section.

Per Pupil Expenditures

The Arkansas Department of Education provides more than ten years of Annual Statistical Reports, ending with the 2011-12 school year. The reports contain operating per pupil expenditures data, but fail to provide total per pupil expenditures. Arkansas fails to provide a table or graph that would allow citizens to easily compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time.

Per Pupil Expenditures
Metric
Category State District Score
Type of Per Pupil Expenditures Operating Operating
Half-Credit Half-Credit
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 5 / 10 5 / 10 10 / 20
Most Recent Year 2011-12 2011-12
Score 5 / 10 5 / 10 10 / 20
Historical Comparison None None
Score 0 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 0/ 5
Total 20 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

The Arkansas Department of Education provides more than ten years of total expenditure data, including capital expenditures, through the 2011-12 school year. Total salary expenditures are available at the summary level only and there are no data on employee benefits. Arkansas fails to provide any pension data.

Total Expenditure Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Total Expenditures Object / Summary Object / Summary
Score 4 / 4 4 / 4 8 / 8
Capital Expenditures Included Included
Score 2 / 2 2 / 2 4 / 4
Total Salary Data Summary Summary
Score 0.5 / 2 0.5 / 2 1 / 4
Pension Data None None
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 2.5 / 2.5 2.5 / 2.5 5 / 5
Most Recent Year 2011-12 2011-12
Score 2.5 / 2.5 2.5 / 2.5 5 / 5
Total 23 / 30

Average Salary Data

Arkansas provides more than five years of average salary data at the summary level, combining all teachers, administrators, and staff, through the 2011-12 school year. Data on employee benefits are not provided.

Average Salary Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Categories Covered Summary Summary
Score 0.5 / 1.5 0.5 / 1.5 1 / 3
Employee Benefits No No
Score 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2
Years of Data 5+ years 5+ years
Score 1.25 / 1.25 1.25 / 1.25 2.5 / 2.5
Most Recent Year 2011-12 2011-12
Score 1.25 / 1.25 1.25 / 1.25 2.5 / 2.5
Total 6 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: The Arkansas Department of Education website is easy to navigate. The homepage contains a link to “Publications and Reports” which includes a link to the Annual Statistical Reports. The Superintendent’s Annual Report is located under the “Reports” dropdown box on the menu bar.

Ease of Public Analysis: Arkansas’ financial data are provided in both Excel spreadsheets and PDF format for most school years. Years 2003-04 through 2007-08 are provided in Excel spreadsheets only, which limits the readability of the data. Year 2001-02 is provided in PDF format only, which limits the ability of users to analyze the data.

Public Accessibility
Category Metric Score
Navigation Full Credit
Very easy for a layperson to locate the desired data. All relevant data are in close proximity with a main menu that is clear and commonsensical.
5 / 5
Ease of Public Analysis Format: (minus 1 point)
Excel spreadsheet and PDF for most years. Years 2003–04 through 2007–08 only in Excel. Year 2001–02 only in PDF.
9 / 10
Total 14 / 15

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