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

Connecticut

F-
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 17.50 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 15.50 / 30
Average Salary Data 3.75 / 10
Public Accessibility 12.00 / 15
Total Score 48.75 / 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

Connecticut’s State Department of Education provides more than ten years of operating per pupil expenditure data (though it is titled “total per pupil expenditures”) in the Finance section of the Connecticut Education Data and Research (CEDaR) applet. Connecticut fails to provide total per pupil expenditures. Connecticut is missing the two most recent years of per pupil expenditures. The state provides a table that allows citizens to compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time, though the figures are not adjusted for inflation.

The department previously published total per pupil expenditure data that included debt service in the Connecticut Education Facts reports but has not published the report since the 2006–07 report. Data from this report was not combined with the most recent CEDaR data for scoring purposes.

Per Pupil Expenditures
Metric
Category State District Score
Type of PPE Credit Operating Operating
Full Credit Full Credit
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 5 / 10 5 / 10 10 / 20
Most Recent Year 2009–10 2009–10
Score 3 / 10 3 / 10 6 / 20
Historical Comparison Included* Included*
Score 0.75 / 2.5 0.75 / 2.5 1.5 / 5
Total 17.5 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

Connecticut provides nine years of total expenditure data, including capital expenditures in the Finance section of the CEDaR applet. Connecticut is missing the two most recent years of total expenditures and fails to provide capital expenditures, total salaries, and 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 None None
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Total Salary Data None None
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Pension Data None None
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Years of Data 9 years 9 years
Score 2.25 / 2.5 2.25 / 2.5 4.5 / 5
Most Recent Year 2009–10 2009–10
Score 1.5 / 2.5 1.5 / 2.5 3 / 5
Total 15.5 / 30

Average Salary Data

Connecticut provides more than five years of average salary data for teachers, administrators, and non-teaching staff at the state level only in the Staff section of the CEDaR applet. The state is missing the most recent year of data. Data on employee benefits are not provided.

Average Salary Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Categories Covered Teachers, administrators, and non-teaching staff None
Score 1.5 / 1.5 0 / 1.5 1.5 / 3
Employee Benefits None None
Score 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2
Years of Data 5+ years n / a
Score 1.25 / 1.25 0 / 1.25 1.25 / 2.5
Most Recent Year 2010–11 n / a
Score 1 / 1.25 0 / 1.25 1 / 2.5
Total 3.75 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: Connecticut’s Department of Education website is difficult for a layperson to navigate. The homepage lacks intuitive links to “School Finance” or “Data” or “Reports”. The user must click on “Forms and Publications” then “Publications.” That page includes the outdated Connecticut Education Facts reports as well as a link to “School Profiles”, which leads to the CEDaR web applet. The user must then click “Data Tables” on the top menu, then select either “Finance” on the side menu for expenditure data or “Staff” for average salary data.

Ease of Public Analysis: Connecticut’s financial data are provided in HTML with the option to export to both Excel spreadsheets and PDF format.

Public Accessibility
Category Metric Score
Navigation 2 points: Difficult for a layperson to locate the desired data. Major design flaws that considerably inhibit navigability. 2 / 5
Ease of Public Analysis Format: HTML with option to download Excel spreadsheet or PDF 10 / 10
Total 12 / 15

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