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

Iowa

F-
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 10.00 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 11.50 / 30
Average Salary Data 3.75 / 10
Public Accessibility 10.50 / 15
Total Score 35.75 / 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

Iowa’s Department of Education provides more than ten years of Condition of Education Reports. The reports contain statewide operating per pupil expenditure data, but fail to provide total per pupil expenditures. Iowa is missing the most recent year of statewide per pupil expenditures and does not provide any district-level per pupil expenditures. Iowa provides a table that allows citizens to compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time, though the figures are limited to three years and are not adjusted for inflation.

Per Pupil Expenditures
Metric
Category State District Score
Type of PPE Operating None
Credit Half Credit n / a
Years of Data 10+ years n / a
Score 5 / 10 0 / 10 5 / 20
Most Recent Year 2010-11 n / a
Score 4 / 10 0 / 10 4 / 20
Historical Comparison Included* None
Score 1 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 1 / 5
Total 10 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

Iowa provides more than ten years of Certified Annual Financial Reports, which contain total expenditure data, including capital expenditures. Total salary expenditures, including benefits, are available at the summary level only. Iowa is missing the most recent year of expenditures and fails to provide pension data or any district-level expenditure data.

Total Expenditure Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Total Expenditures Object / Summary None
Score 4 / 4 0 / 4 4 / 8
Capital Expenditures Included Included
Score 2 / 2 0 / 2 2 / 4
Total Salary Data Summary with Benefits None
Score 1 / 2 0 / 2 1 / 4
Pension Data None None
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Years of Data 10+ years n / a
Score 2.5 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 2.5 / 5
Most Recent Year 2010-11 n / a
Score 2 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 2 / 5
Total 11.5 / 30

Average Salary Data

Iowa provides more than five years of statewide average salary data for teachers, administrators, and non-teaching staff. Iowa is missing average salary data for the most recent school year. Data on average 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 n / a
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: Iowa’s Department of Education website is somewhat difficult to navigate. The homepage’s menu bar includes “Data & Statistics” which has a dropdown menu that includes a link to “Education Statistics” where the Condition of Education reports are located. A link to the Certified Annual Financial Reports is at the bottom of the page, but the reports are actually spread throughout 18 pages, interspersed with other reports, which makes locating them time-consuming.

Ease of Public Analysis: Iowa’s Condition of Education Reports are provided in PDF format only, which limits the ability of users to analyze the data. The Certified Annual Financial Reports are provided in Excel spreadsheets only, which limits the readability of the data.

Public Accessibility
Category Metric Score
Navigation 3 points: Somewhat difficult for a layperson to locate the desired data. Moderate design flaws that somewhat inhibit navigability. 3 / 5
Ease of Public Analysis

Format: (minus 2.5 points)
State of Education Report: PDF only
District Analysis and Comparison Tool: Excel only

CAR: Excel only
7.5 / 10
Total 10.5 /15

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