States, school districts get more time to report per-pupil spending

By Caitlin Emma

The Education Department is giving states and school districts an extra year to report the amount of federal, state and local dollars spent per student.

States and districts were supposed to comply with the new requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act starting next school year. Federal officials are giving them a little extra time to help “ensure a smooth transition to the new law,” said Jason Botel, acting assistant secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, in a letter to states this week.

Some states and districts are prepared to break out and report this data publicly, and they should do so if they’re ready, Botel wrote. But some “face significant technical challenges associated with meeting this requirement in a timely manner,” he wrote.

Those states and districts can take until the 2018-19 year to start reporting that information on annual report cards. The report cards are meant to help families better understand how schools are performing and whether schools that serve higher percentages of disadvantaged students are getting short shrift when it comes to spending.

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