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

Michigan

C+
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 36.00 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 23.00 / 30
Average Salary Data 7.50 / 10
Public Accessibility 12.00 / 15
Total Score 78.50 / 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

Michigan’s Department of Education provides more than ten years of Bulletin 1014—Michigan Public Schools Ranked by Select Financial Information reports, which contain total per pupil expenditure data. Michigan is missing the most recent year of per pupil expenditures and 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 Total Total
Credit Full Credit Full Credit
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 10 / 10 10 / 10 20 / 20
Most Recent Year 2010-11 2010-11
Score 8 / 10 8 / 10 16 / 20
Historical Comparison None None
Score 0 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 0/ 5
Total 36 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

Michigan provides more than ten years of Bulletin 1011 — Analysis of Michigan Public Schools Revenues and Expenditures reports, which contain statewide total expenditure data, including capital expenditures. Michigan provides four years of National Public Education Finance Survey and ten years of Audited Financial Statements, which contain district-level total expenditure data, including capital expenditures. These reports provide total salary expenditures, including benefits, at the summary level only. Michigan is missing the most recent year of expenditures and fails to provide 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 with Benefits Summary with Benefits
Score 1 / 2 1 / 2 2 / 4
Pension Data None n / a
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 2010-11 2010-11
Score 2 / 2.5 2 / 2.5 4 / 5
Total 23 / 30

Average Salary Data

Michigan provides more than five years of average salary data for teachers only. Michigan is missing average salary data for the most recent school year. Data on average employee benefits are 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 Included Included
Score 1 / 1 1 / 1 2 / 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 7.5 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: Michigan’s Department of Education website is somewhat difficult to navigate. The homepage contains a link to “Offices” which includes a link to the “State Aid and School Finance” Page. Per-pupil expenditures and statewide total expenditure data are located in the Bulletin 1011 — Analysis of Michigan Public Schools Revenues and Expenditures and Bulletin 1014 — Michigan Public Schools Ranked by Select Financial Information reports. District-level expenditure data are located in the National Public Education Finance Survey on the “Public School Financial Information” page or in the Audited Financial Statements on the “Audits” page.

The Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) also provides some education expenditure data. However, since there are no links to this data source on the school finances pages at Michigan’s Department of Education website, no credit is given for CEPI data.

Ease of Public Analysis: Michigan’s financial data are provided in both PDF format and DBF database files. Some reports are only available in Excel post-2010-11, which limits the ability of users to analyze 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: PDF and DBF database with some years in Excel (minus 1 point) 9 / 10
Total 12 /15

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