Moving toward comparability: Assessing per student costs in K-12
Eger, Robert J.
McDonald, Bruce D.
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The current classifications for public school costs are provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics. To improve comparability between school districts, we provide an alternative classification with fewer numbers of expenditure categories, distinctions between schoolbased and non-school based administration costs, and school levels. The new classification is then applied to five comparable urban school districts. We find (1) that teacher salaries per student are affected by school level disaggregation; (2) that separating administrative costs into school and non-school based provides for an observable cost relationship; and (3) that curriculum and instructional support per student differ by school level disaggregation. The alternative classification may assist auditors and investigators whose role is to assess the costs performance of urban school districts by providing comparable school level and cost type.
Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management
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