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Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems, 2003 Edition



Account Classification Description
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Table of Contents
Introduction
Uses of Information
Budgeting
Governmental  Accounting
Financial Accounting
Cost Accounting and Reporting for Educational Programs
Activity Fund Guidelines
Summary of Account Code Changes and other Appendices
PDF File (1044 KB)

Contact:
Frank Johnson
(202) 502-7362




Preface

This handbook is one in a series published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It continues a half-century's tradition of sharing the best practices in data collection and reporting with the schools, school districts, and state agencies that are our partners in providing good information to manage, assess, and guide elementary and secondary education.

In addition to this volume, the data handbooks include the Student Data Handbook: Elementary, Secondary and Early Childhood Education and the Staff Data Handbook: Elementary, Secondary and Early Childhood Education. The NCES data handbooks are updated annually; current versions are available online at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/index.asp.

The data handbooks do not include every possible data element. They are intended, rather, as a comprehensive set of data element definitions and suggestions for structuring a paper or an electronic record system. Every attempt has been made to include all data elements routinely required for federal education reporting. The rationale for this inclusion is that if these items are part of a comprehensive information system used for the daily management of schools and districts, they can be reported with minimal additional burden on teachers and principals. References can be found on page 167 and additional resources are identified on page 179.

The NCES and representatives of state and local education agencies, as well as members of the research and statistical communities, have worked together through the National Cooperative Education Statistics System to improve the quality and comparability of data used for education policy decisions at all levels of government. This handbook, like other data handbooks published by the NCES, was written through the efforts of education professionals from a range of backgrounds. Their input ensures that such products are useful for managing the daily business of schools and districts as well as for identifying the information needed for program monitoring and statistical purposes.

Acknowledgments

This document is the result of many individuals from around the country who generously contributed their knowledge, time and commitment.

A special thanks goes to the NCES National Forum on Education Statistics, Core Finance Data Task Force. Under the leadership of Linda Champion, this Task Force embraced the task of re-conceptualizing the structure and content of this handbook and systematically rewriting nearly the entire text, incorporating new chapters and reviewing and revising the account code structure and account code definitions. Through tremendous perseverance, a sizeable and diverse knowledge base, and intense discussions spanning over 2 years, this handbook has been transformed into a document that is not only updated, but is also user friendly for a variety of potential readers. A list of the members of this Task Force appears on the next page.

Special thanks are given to David Thompson from Kansas State University for his expertise and insight into writing the Activity Fund Guidelines chapter and for his review and comments on the entire handbook. Special thanks are also given to David Morris from the Florida Department of Education for his experience, insight and knowledge in writing the Cost Accounting and Reporting for Educational Programs chapter.
Thanks are extended to Greg Higgins and George Scott from Deloitte & Touche whose work as subcontractors for American Institutes for Research was the foundation for much of the writing of chapters 3 through 5, including assistance in the revision of account codes in this handbook.

Kenneth Lee Carter, Vice President and Partner of Capital Management of the Carolinas, and Gregory Allison of the Institute of Government, University of North Carolina, acted as third-party technical reviewers to ensure that the entire document met the latest accounting standard changes.

A sincere thanks is extended to the members of the Information Committee and the Extended Reviewing Committee for providing the initial input and guidance for what was then to be only a set of addendums to the 1990 version of this handbook. Their insight and suggestions were the major, first step forward in revising this handbook after a decade. A list of the members of these committees appears on the next page.

Steven Honegger, Senior Analyst from the American Institutes for Research coordinated the work of the various authors and directed work of subcontractors for this handbook. He provided guidance to resolve potentially problematic issues and provided recommended changes and additions for this handbook.

Beginning with the work of William Fowler, Jr., and the establishment of the Finance Handbook Information Committee and the Finance Handbook Extended Reviewing Committee, and ending with the NCES Common Core Data Task Force, this process has been a collegial and collaborative effort involving representatives from federal, state, and local education agencies, public and private educational institutions, and national professional associates, as well as education practitioners and researchers.

National Forum on Education Statistics, Core Finance Data Task Force Members

  • Linda Champion, Task Force Chair, Administrator, Office of Funding and Financial Reporting, Florida Department of Education
  • James (Chris) Christman, Pittsburg State University
  • Matthew Cohen, Director, Policy Research and Analysis, Ohio Department of Education
  • Garnet Lavan Dukes, Bureau Chief, Education Information and Accountability Services, Florida Department of Education
  • Dori Nielson, Education Consultant, Missoula, Montana
  • Catherine Sielke, Associate Professor, University of Georgia, School of Leadership and Lifelong Learning
  • Steven D. Honegger, Task Force Support, Senior Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research
  • Frank Johnson, NCES Project Leader, Statistician, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education
Information Committee Members
  • William Fowler, Jr., National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education
  • Nancy Heiligman, Oregon Department of Education
  • Denny G. Bolton, Business Administrator, Association of School Business Officials
  • Randy Finden, Project Manager, Governmental Accounting Standards Board
  • Lawrence R. MacDonald, Chief Elementary and Secondary Education Statistician, U.S. Bureau of the Census
  • Steve Gauthier, Director, Technical Services Center, Government Finance Officers Association
  • Glenn McClain, Business Services Director, CFDTF Choice
  • Lynnisse Roehrich-Partrick, Assistant Commissioner, Tennessee State Department of Education
  • Catherine C. Sielke, University of Georgia, American Educational Finance Association
  • Linda Champion, Task Force Chair, Administrator, Office of Funding and Financial Reporting, Florida Department of Education
  • James (Chris) Christman, Pittsburg State University
  • Garnet Lavan Dukes, Bureau Chief, Education Information and Accountability Services, Florida Department of Education
  • Frank Johnson, Statistician, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

Extended Reviewing Committee Members

  • Nicholas C.A. Alito, CPA, Executive Director for Business Services, Eau Claire Area School
  • istrict, Wisconsin (representing Association of School Business Officials)
  • Bruce Hunter, American Association of School Administrators
  • Anthony Roelle, National Education Association
  • Howard Nelson, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jack Reagan, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Other organizations that were part of the Extended Reviewing Committee but which did not designate a specific representative include:

  • National School Board Association
  • Council of Chief State School Officers


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