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

North Dakota

C+
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 39.00 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 23.50 / 30
Average Salary Data 8.00 / 10
Public Accessibility 7.50 / 15
Total Score 78.00 / 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

North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction provides more than ten years of School Finance Facts reports. The reports contain total per pupil expenditure data. North Dakota is missing the most recent year of per pupil expenditures. North Dakota provides a table that allows citizens to compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time, though the figures are not adjusted for inflation.

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 Included* Included*
Score 1.5 / 2.5 1.5 / 2.5 3 / 5
Total 39 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

North Dakota provides more than ten years of total expenditure data, including capital expenditures. Total salary expenditures are available at the summary level only. Employee benefits are included, but not as a line item. North Dakota 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, Benefits included but not line item Summary, Benefits included but not line item
Score 1.25 / 2 1.25/ 2 2.5 / 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 2010-11 2010-11
Score 2/ 2.5 2 / 2.5 4 / 5
Total 23.5 / 30

Average Salary Data

North Dakota provides more than five years of average salary data for teachers, administrators, and non-teaching staff through the 2011–12 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 Teachers, administrators, and non-teaching staff
Score 1.5 / 1.5 1.5 / 1.5 3 / 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 2011-12 2011-12
Score 1.25 / 1.25 1.25 / 1.25 2.5 / 2.5
Total 8 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction website is easy to navigate. Under the “Resources” heading on the left-side menu bar at the homepage there is a link to the School Finance Facts report, which contains all relevant expenditure data.

Ease of Public Analysis: North Dakota’s financial data are provided in both Excel spreadsheets and PDF format. While North Dakota provides total per pupil expenditures in the Financial Facts Excel spreadsheet, the state only provides operating per pupil expenditures in the user-friendly “Public School Districts Summary of Facts” sheets (Section A) and the Expenditure Calculation of Average Cost Per Pupil reports (Section H). Moreover, neither report identifies these as “operating” or “current” expenditures, nor does either explain explicitly what is excluded. The user-friendly document does not even list what was included.

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: Excel spreadsheets and PDF

Deductions: Misleading use of terms in user-friendly document (minus 7.5 points)

2.5 / 10
Total 7.5 / 15

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