The NCES Data Handbooks provide guidance on creating consistent data definitions and maintaining education data, so that such data can be accurately aggregated and analyzed. There are several Handbook resources available.
The NCES Handbooks define standard education terms for students, staff, schools, local education agencies, intermediate education agencies, and state education agencies. They are intended to serve as reference documents for public and private organizations (including education institutions and early childhood centers), as well as education researchers and other users of education data. In order to improve access to this valuable resource, NCES has also developed the NCES Handbooks Online, a web-based tool that allows users to view and download Handbook information via an electronic table of contents, a drill down finder, element name and first letter searches, and advanced query options.
The NCES Financial Accounting Handbook has been designed as the national standard for state departments of education to use in reporting financial data and for school districts to use in preparing their comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs) that are submitted to their respective state departments of education. The purpose of the handbook is to ensure that education fiscal data can be reported in a comprehensive manner. The 2003 Edition contains guidance conforming to Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statements, up to Statement 39. There are chapters on budgeting, governmental accounting and financial reporting. Account codes have been updated to reflect changes in the new reporting requirements and developments in technology and security. There are also special chapters on accounting student activity funds and a model for school level program cost accounting.
The Handbooks Online State Customization Tool is the Content Administrator site for the NCES Handbooks Online (which defines standard education terms for students, staff, schools, local education agencies, intermediate education agencies, and state education agencies). This customization tool allows authorized state education agency staff to modify data elements, instances, and options for state use while still retaining the basic structure and organization of the NCES Handbooks Online. Access to this site requires a password. Contact Ghedam Bairu (NCES) to request more information.
Publications of the National Forum on Education Statistics do not undergo the formal review required for products of the National Center for Education Statistics. The information and opinions published here are the product of the National Forum on Education Statistics and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education or the National Center for Education Statistics.