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

Massachusetts

D
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 19.50 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 25.00 / 30
Average Salary Data 5.50 / 10
Public Accessibility 14.00 / 15
Total Score 64.00 / 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.

Updates

Massachusetts’s score has been updated to include the “School Finance: Statistical Comparisons” section, which provides more detailed data than the School/District Profile Reports.

Per Pupil Expenditures

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides more than ten years of Per Pupil Expenditures Reports, which contain operating per pupil expenditure data. Massachusetts is missing the most recent year of per pupil expenditures and provides a table that only allows citizens to compare three years of per pupil expenditures.

Per Pupil Expenditures
Metric
Category State District Score
Type of Per Pupil Expenditures Operating Operating
Credit Half Credit Half Credit
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 5 / 10 5 / 10 10 / 20
Most Recent Year 2010-11 2010-11
Score 4 / 10 4 / 10 8 / 20
Historical Comparison Included, Limited Years* Included, Limited Years*
Score 0.75 / 2.5 0.75 / 2.5 1.5/ 5
Total 19.5 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

Massachusetts provides more than ten years of Per Pupil Expenditures Reports, which contain total expenditure data, total salary data, and pension data. Massachusetts is missing the most recent year of expenditures in all categories and fails to provide capital expenditure data.

Total Expenditure Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Total Expenditures Object/Summary Object/Summary
Score 4 / 4 4 / 4 8 / 8
Capital Expenditures Not Included Not Included
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Total Salary Data Object/Summary with Benefits Object/Summary with Benefits
Score 2 / 2 2 / 2 4 / 4
Pension Data Included Included
Score 2 / 2 2 / 2 4 / 4
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 2.5 / 2.5 2.5 / 2.5 5 / 5
Most Recent Year 2010-11 2010-11
Score 2 / 2.5 2 / 2.5 4 / 5
Total 25 / 30

Average Salary Data

Massachusetts provides more than five years of Teacher Salaries Reports, which contain average salary data for teachers only. Massachusetts 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 Teachers
Score 0.5 / 1.5 0.5 / 1.5 1 / 3
Employee Benefits None None
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 2010–11 2010–11
Score 1 / 1.25 1 / 1.25 2 / 2.5
Total 5.5 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is fairly easy to navigate. The menu bar on the main page contains “School/District Profiles.” The page has an upper menu bar containing the “Statewide Reports” option, which leads to the Per Pupil Expenditure reports and “Teacher Salary” reports. The dropdown box for the Per Pupil Expenditures Report only contains seven years of data. Earlier years are available through a separate link below. Elsewhere, on the Statistical Comparisons page, there are separate Per Pupil Expenditure reports that provide more detailed data.

Ease of Public Analysis: Massachusetts’ financial data are provided in HTML and can be exported to PDF or Excel.

Public Accessibility
Category Metric Score
Navigation 4 points: Fairly easy for a layperson to locate the desired data. Minor design flaws that slightly inhibit navigability. 4 / 5
Ease of Public Analysis Format: HTML. Can export to PDF or Excel spreadsheet. 10 / 10
Total 14 /15

Links