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

Oregon

F-
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 18.50 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 14.50 / 30
Average Salary Data 3.50 / 10
Public Accessibility 10.50 / 15
Total Score 47.00 / 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

Oregon’s Department of Education provides more than ten years of Actual Operating vs. Capital Expenditures Per Student reports. The reports contain operating per pupil expenditure data, but fail to provide total per pupil expenditures. Oregon is missing the most recent year of per pupil expenditures. Oregon’s Statewide Annual Report Card includes a table that allows citizens to compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time, though the figures are limited to three years at the state level and they are not adjusted for inflation.

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* None
Score 0.5 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 0.5 / 5
Total 18.5 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

Oregon provides more than ten years of Actual Expenditures by Fund and Object reports, which contain district–level total expenditure data, including capital expenditures and pension data. Total salary expenditures, including benefits, are available at the summary and object levels. Oregon is missing the most recent year of district–level expenditures and fails to provide any statewide expenditure data.

Total Expenditure Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Total Expenditures None Object / Summary
Score 0 / 4 4 / 4 4 / 8
Capital Expenditures None Included
Score 0 / 2 2 / 2 2 / 4
Total Salary Data None Object/ Summary with Benefits
Score 0 / 2 2 / 2 2 / 4
Pension Data n / a Included
Score 0 / 2 2 / 2 2 /4
Years of Data n / a 10+ years
Score 0 / 2.5 2.5 / 2.5 2.5 / 5
Most Recent Year n / a 2010–11
Score 0 / 2.5 2 / 2.5 2 / 5
Total 14.5 / 30

Average Salary Data

Oregon provides more than five years of Statewide Annual Report Cards, which contain statewide average salary data for teachers and administrators only through the 2011–12 school year. Oregon does not provide average salary data at the district level nor any average employee benefits.

Average Salary Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Categories Covered Teachers and administrators None
Score 1 / 1.5 1 / 1.5 1 / 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 2011-12 n / a
Score 1.25 / 1.25 0 1.25 / 2.5
Total 3.5 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: Oregon’s Department of Education website is easy to navigate. The link to the Report Cards is at the bottom of the homepage under the “Reports” heading. The “Finance and Funding” option in the “Category List” dropdown box leads to all the relevant financial data.

Ease of Public Analysis: Oregon’s financial data are provided in HTML and PDF format only, which limits the ability of users to analyze the data. The Statewide Annual Report Card will not open in Google Chrome. The reports often lack instructions or definitions of terms, which makes it difficult to interpret the data. It is unclear what is included in the items “Total Cost Per Student” in the “Expenditure Per Student by Major Spending Category by Fund” function, but they are less than the operating costs listed in the “Actual Operating vs. Capital Expenditures per Student” function. For example, Pine Eagle SD 61’s “Total Cost per Student” is just over $13,000 in “Expenditure Per Student by Major Spending Category by Fund” but its “Operating Costs per Student” are over $17,000 in the “Actual Operating vs. Capital Expenditures per Student” function. Since total expenditures generally include operating expenditures, it is highly unusual for the latter to be larger than the former.

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: (minus 2.5 points)
Expenditure data: HTML
Average Salaries: PDF

Deductions for: Lack of instructions to read data, or unclear instructions (minus 2 points)

5.5/ 10
Total 10.5 / 15

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