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Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2009 Edition
NCES 2009-325
June 2009

Chapter 6: Account Classification Descriptions — Classifications of Expenditures — Function

The function describes the activity for which a service or material object is acquired. The functions of a school district are classified into five broad areas: instruction, support services, operation of noninstructional services, facilities acquisition and construction, and debt service. Functions are further classified into subfunctions. Each classification is presented by a code number followed by a description.

10005Instruction. Instruction includes the activities dealing directly with the interaction between teachers and students. Teaching may be provided for students in a school classroom, in another location such as a home or hospital, and in other learning situations such as those involving cocurricular activities. It may also be provided through some other approved medium, such as television, radio, computer, the Internet, multimedia, telephone, and correspondence, that is delivered inside or outside the classroom or in other teacher-student settings. Included here are the activities of aides or classroom assistants of any type (graders, teaching machines, etc.) who assist in the instructional process. If proration of expenditures is not possible for department chairpersons who also teach, include department chairpersons who also teach in instruction. Expenditures for full-time department chairpersons should be reported in function 2490 Other Support Services—School Administration. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2000Support Services. Support services provide administrative, technical (such as guidance and health), and logistical support to facilitate and enhance instruction. These services exist as adjuncts for fulfilling the objectives of instruction, community services, and enterprise programs, rather than as entities within themselves.
21005Support Services—Students. Activities designed to assess and improve the well-being of students and to supplement the teaching process.
2110Attendance and Social Work Services. Activities designed to improve student attendance at school that attempt to prevent or solve student problems involving the home, the school, and the community. Registration activities for adult education programs are included here. Some examples of other services to be reported within this function code are supervision services, attendance services, and student accounting services. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2120Guidance Services. Activities involving counseling with students and parents; consulting with other staff members on learning problems; evaluating the abilities of students; assisting students as they make their own educational and career plans and choices; assisting students in personal and social development; providing referral assistance; and working with other staff members in planning and conducting guidance programs for students. Guidance services may include supervision services, counseling services, appraisal services, student record services, and placement services. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2130Health Services. Physical and mental health services that are not direct instruction. Included are activities that provide students with appropriate medical, dental, and nursing services. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2140Psychological Services. Activities concerned with administering psychological tests and interpreting the results; gathering and interpreting information about student behavior; working with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special needs of students as indicated by psychological tests and behavioral evaluation; and planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for students, staff, and parents. This function includes the supervision of psychological services, related testing and counseling services, and psychotherapy services. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2150Speech Pathology and Audiology Services. Activities that identify, assess, and treat children with speech, hearing, and language impairments. (Usually used with program 200.)
2160Occupational Therapy-Related Services. Activities that assess, diagnose, or treat students for all conditions requiring the services of an occupational therapist. (Usually used with program 200.)
2190Other Support Services—Student. Other support services to students not classified elsewhere in the 2100 series.
22005Support Services—Instruction. Activities associated with assisting the instructional staff with the content and process of providing learning experiences for students.
2210Improvement of Instruction. Activities primarily for assisting instructional staff in planning, developing, and evaluating the process of providing learning experiences for students. These activities include curriculum development, techniques of instruction, child development and understanding, and staff training. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2212Instruction and Curriculum Development. Activities that aid teachers in developing the curriculum, preparing and using special curriculum materials, and understanding and appreciating the various techniques that stimulate and motivate students.
2213Instructional Staff Training. Activities associated with the professional development and training of instructional personnel. These include such activities as in-service training (including mentor teachers), workshops, conferences, demonstrations, and courses for college credit (tuition reimbursement), and other activities related to the ongoing growth and development of instructional personnel. Training that supports the use of technology for instruction should be included in this code (states may establish a subobject code for specific tracking of technology-related training costs). The incremental costs associated with providing substitute teachers in the classroom (while regular teachers attend training) should be captured in this function code. All costs should be charged to this code regardless of whether training services are provided internally or purchased from external vendors.
2219Other Improvement of Instruction Services. Activities for improving instruction other than those classified above.
2220Library/Media Services. Activities concerned with directing, managing, and supervising educational media services (e.g., supervisory personnel) as well as such activities as selecting, acquiring, preparing, cataloging, and circulating books and other printed materials; planning for the use of the library by students, teachers, and other members of the instructional staff; and guiding individuals in their use of library books, reference guides and materials, catalog materials, special collections, and other materials, whether maintained separately or as a part of an instructional materials center. These activities include developing and acquiring library materials and operating library facilities. Textbooks are not charged to this function but rather to the instruction function. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2230Instruction-Related Technology. This function category encompasses all technology activities and services for the purpose of supporting instruction. These activities include expenditures for internal technology support as well as support provided by external vendors using operating funds. These activities include costs associated with the administration and supervision of technology personnel, systems planning and analysis, systems application development, systems operations, network support services, hardware maintenance and support services, and other technology-related costs that relate to the support of instructional activities. Specifically, costs associated with the operation and support of computer learning labs, media center computer labs, instructional technology centers, instructional networks, and similar operations should be captured in this code. Technology used by students in the classroom or that have a student instruction focus should be coded to 1000. (Used with all programs 100–900.)

It should be noted that E-Rate is not specifically addressed with the accounting codes for technology as GASB has not issued applicable accounting and financial reporting guidance. Refer to chapter 5 for a broader discussion of E-Rate.
  • Student Computer Centers. Activities concerned with supporting and maintaining computer centers (outside the classroom) that are established to support the instructional environment. These centers may be located in the library or in other locations but are not primarily dedicated to student-teacher learning. Computer centers that are primarily dedicated to instruction should be coded to instruction.
  • Technology Service Supervision and Administration. Activities concerned with directing, managing, and supervising data-processing services.
  • Systems Analysis and Planning. Activities concerned with searching for and evaluating alternatives for achieving defined objectives, based on judgment and, wherever possible, on quantitative methods. Where applicable, these activities pertain to the development of data-processing procedures or application to electronic data-processing equipment.
  • Systems Application Development. Activities concerned with the preparation of a logical sequence of operations to be performed, either manually or electronically, in solving problems or processing data. These activities also involve preparing coded instructions and data for such sequences.
  • Systems Operations. Activities concerned with scheduling, maintaining, and producing data. These activities include operating business machines, data preparation devices, and data-processing machines.
  • Network Support. Services that support the networks used for instruction-related activities.
  • Hardware Maintenance and Support.
  • Professional Development for Instruction-Focused Technology Personnel. Costs that are incurred when staff acquire knowledge and skills to support instructional technologies. Technology training for instructional staff should be reported in function 2213 (instructional staff training).
2240Academic Student Assessment. Expenditures for the academic assessment of students that are not initiated by the teacher, but by the school district or state education agency. (Used with programs 100–400, 600, and 700.)
2290Other Support Services—Instructional Staff. Services supporting the instructional staff not properly classified elsewhere in the 2200 series. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
23005Support Services—General Administration. Activities concerned with establishing and administering policy for operating the school district.
2310Board of Education. Activities of the elected body that has been created according to state law and vested with responsibilities for educational activities in a given administrative unit. Some examples of services to be included here are board secretary and clerk service. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
  • Supervision of Board of Education Services. Activities concerned with directing and managing the general operation of the board of education. These include the activities of the members of the board of education, but do not include any special activities defined in the other areas of responsibility described below. They also include any activities of the district performed in support of school district meetings. Legal activities to interpret the laws and statutes and general liability situations are charged here, as are the activities of external auditors.
  • Board Secretary/Clerk Services. The activities required to perform the duties of the secretary or clerk of the board of education.
  • Board Treasurer Services. The activities required to perform the duties of the treasurer of the board of education.
  • Election Services. Services rendered in connection with any school system election, including elections of officers and bond elections.
  • Tax Assessment and Collection Services. Services rendered in connection with tax assessment and collection.
  • Staff Relations and Negotiations. Activities concerned with staff relations systemwide and the responsibilities for contractual negotiations with both instructional and noninstructional personnel.
  • Legal Services. All legal service expenditures should be reported here. See object 820 for guidance on judgments against the school district.
  • Other Board of Education Services. Board of education services that cannot be classified under the preceding areas of responsibility.
2320Executive Administration. Activities associated with the overall general administration or executive responsibility of the entire school district (used with all programs 100–900). Some typical services included in this function code are as follows:
  • Office of the Superintendent. Activities performed by the superintendent and such assistants as deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents in generally directing and managing all affairs of the school district. These include all personnel and materials in the office of the chief executive officer. Activities of the offices of the deputy superintendents should be charged here, unless the activities can be placed properly into a service area. In this case, they would be charged to service area direction in that service area.
  • Community Relations. Activities and programs developed and operated systemwide for bettering school-community relations.
  • State and Federal Relations. Activities associated with developing and maintaining good relationships with state and federal officials. The activities associated with grant procurement are included.
  • Other Executive Administration. Other general administrative services that cannot be recorded under the preceding categories.
24005Support Services—School Administration. Activities concerned with overall administrative responsibility for a school.
2410Office of the Principal. Activities concerned with directing and managing the operation of a particular school. They include the activities performed by the principal, assistant principals, and other assistants while they supervise all operations of the school, evaluate the staff members of the school, assign duties to staff members, supervise and maintain the records of the school, and coordinate school instructional activities with those of the school district. These activities also include the work of clerical staff in support of teaching and administrative duties. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2490Other Support Services—School Administration. Other school administration services. This function includes graduation expenditures and expenses and full-time department chairpersons. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
25005Central Services. Activities that support other administrative and instructional functions, including fiscal services, human resources, planning, and administrative information technology.
2510Fiscal Services. Activities concerned with the fiscal operations of the school district. This function includes budgeting, receiving and disbursing, financial and property accounting, payroll, inventory control, internal auditing, investments and funds management. Fiscal services are inclusive of supervision of fiscal services, budgeting services, and payroll, internal audit, and general accounting functions. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2520Purchasing, Warehousing, and Distributing Services. Activities concerned with purchasing, receiving, storing, and distributing supplies, furniture, equipment, and materials used in schools or school system operations. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2530Printing, Publishing, and Duplicating Services. The activities of printing and publishing administrative publications such as annual reports, school directories, and manuals. Activities here also include centralized services for duplicating school materials and instruments such as school bulletins, newsletters, and notices. (Duplicating services directly related to instruction should be reported in 1000.) (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2540Planning, Research, Development, and Evaluation Services. Activities associated with conducting and managing systemwide programs of planning, research, development, and evaluation for a school system. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
  • Planning services include activities concerned with selecting or identifying the overall, long-range goals and priorities of the organization or program. They also involve formulating various courses of action needed to achieve these goals by identifying needs and the relative costs and benefits of each course of action.
  • Research services include activities concerned with the systematic study and investigation of the various aspects of education, undertaken to establish facts and principles.
  • Development services include activities in the deliberate, evolving process of improving educational programs.
  • Evaluation services include activities concerned with ascertaining or judging the value or amount of an action or an outcome. This is done through careful appraisal of previously specified data in light of the particular situation and previously established goals.
2560Public Information Services. Activities concerned with writing, editing, and other preparation necessary to disseminate educational and administrative information to students, staff, managers, and the general public through direct mailing, the various news media, e-mail, the Internet and websites, and personal contact. The information services function code includes related supervision and internal and public information services. Technology that supports this code is included in function 2580. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2570Personnel Services. Activities concerned with maintaining efficient personnel for the school system. This code includes such activities as recruitment and placement, noninstructional staff training, staff transfers, in-service training, health services, and staff accounting. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
  • Supervision of Personnel Services. The activities of directing, managing, and supervising staff services.
  • Recruitment and Placement. Activities concerned with employing and assigning personnel for the school district.
  • Personnel Information. Services rendered in connection with the systematic recording and summarizing of information relating to staff members employed by the school district.
  • Noninstructional Personnel Training. Activities associated with the professional development and training of noninstructional personnel. These include such activities as in-service training, seminars and conferences, continuing professional education, courses for college credit (tuition reimbursement), and other activities related to the ongoing growth and development of noninstructional personnel. The incremental costs associated with providing temporary employees to perform job duties while regular employees attend training should be captured in this function code. All costs should be charged to this code regardless of whether training services are provided internally or purchased from external vendors.
  • Health Services. Activities concerned with medical, dental, and nursing services provided for school district employees. Included are physical examinations, referrals, and emergency care.
  • Other Personnel Services. Personnel services that cannot be classified under the preceding functions.
2580Administrative Technology Services. Activities concerned with supporting the school district's information technology systems, including supporting administrative networks, maintaining administrative information systems, and processing data for administrative and managerial purposes. These activities include expenditures for internal technology support, as well as support provided by external vendors using operating funds. These activities include costs associated with the administration and supervision of technology personnel, systems planning and analysis, systems application development, systems operations, network support services, hardware maintenance and support services, and other technology-related administrative costs. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
  • Technology Service Supervision and Administration. Activities concerned with directing, managing, and supervising data-processing services.
  • Systems Analysis and Planning. Activities concerned with searching for and evaluating alternatives for achieving defined objectives, based on judgment and, wherever possible, on quantitative methods. Where applicable, these activities pertain to the development of data-processing procedures or application to electronic data-processing equipment.
  • Systems Application Development. Activities concerned with the preparation of a logical sequence of operations to be performed, either manually or electronically, in solving problems or processing data. These activities also involve preparing coded instructions and data for such sequences.
  • Systems Operations. Activities concerned with scheduling, maintaining, and producing data. These activities include operating business machines, data preparation devices, and data-processing machines.
  • Network Support.
  • Hardware Maintenance and Support.
  • Professional Development Costs for Administrative Technology Personnel.
  • Other Technology Services. Activities concerned with data-processing not described above.
2590Other Support Services—Central Services. Other support services to business not classified elsewhere in the 2500 series. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
26005Operation and Maintenance of Plant. Activities concerned with keeping the physical plant open, comfortable, and safe for use and with keeping the grounds, buildings, and equipment in effective working condition and state of repair. These include the activities of maintaining safety in buildings, on the grounds, and in the vicinity of schools.
2610Operation of Buildings. Activities concerned with keeping the physical plant clean and ready for daily use. They include operating lighting and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and doing minor repairs. Also included are the costs of building rental and property insurance. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2620Maintenance of Buildings. Activities associated with keeping buildings at an acceptable level of efficiency through repairs and preventative maintenance. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2630Care and Upkeep of Grounds. Activities involved in maintaining and improving the land (but not the buildings). These include snow removal, landscaping, and grounds maintenance. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2640Care and Upkeep of Equipment. Activities involved in maintaining equipment owned or used by the school district. They include such activities as servicing and repairing furniture, machines, and movable equipment. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2650Vehicle Operation and Maintenance (Other Than Student Transportation Vehicles). Activities involved in maintaining general-purpose vehicles such as trucks, tractors, graders, and staff vehicles. These include such activities as repairing vehicles; replacing vehicle parts; and cleaning, painting, greasing, fueling, and inspecting vehicles for safety (i.e., preventive maintenance). Expenditures for driver's education programs should be coded to 1000 Instruction. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2660Security. Activities concerned with maintaining a secure environment for students and staff, whether they are in transit to or from school, on a campus or in an administrative facility, or participating in school-sponsored events. These include costs associated with security plan development and implementation, installation of security monitoring devices (e.g., cameras, metal detectors), security personnel (e.g., campus police, security guards), purchase of security vehicles and communication equipment, and related costs. In-service training related to security should be reported in 2570 Personnel Services. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2670Safety. Activities concerned with maintaining a safe environment for students and staff, whether they are in transit to or from school, on a campus or in an administrative facility, or participating in school-sponsored events. These include costs associated with installing and monitoring school fire alarm systems and providing school crossing guards, as well as other costs incurred in an effort to ensure the basic safety of students and staff. In-service training related to safety should be reported in 2570 Personnel Services. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2680Other Operation and Maintenance of Plant. Operation and maintenance of plant services that cannot be classified elsewhere in the 2600 series. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
27005Student Transportation. Activities concerned with conveying students to and from school, as provided by state and federal law. These include trips between home and school and trips to school activities. Expenditures for driver's education programs should be coded to 1000 Instruction.
2710Vehicle Operation. Activities involved in operating vehicles for student transportation, from the time the vehicles leave the point of storage until they return to the point of storage. These include driving buses or other student transportation vehicles. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2720Monitoring Services. Activities concerned with supervising students in the process of being transported between home and school and between school and school activities. Such supervision can occur while students are in transit and while they are being loaded and unloaded, and it includes directing traffic at the loading stations. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
2730Vehicle Servicing and Maintenance. Activities involved in maintaining student transportation vehicles. These include repairing vehicle parts; replacing vehicle parts; and cleaning, painting, fueling, and inspecting vehicles for safety. (Used with programs 100–400, 900.)
2790Other Student Transportation Services. Student transportation services that cannot be classified elsewhere in the 2700 series. (Used with programs 100–400, 900.)
29005Other Support Services. All other support services not classified elsewhere in the 2000 series. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
3000Operation of Noninstructional Services. Activities concerned with providing noninstructional services to students, staff, or the community.
31005Food Services Operations. Activities concerned with providing food to students and staff in a school or school district. This service area includes preparing and serving regular and incidental meals, lunches, or snacks in connection with school activities and food delivery. (Used with all programs 100–900).
32005Enterprise Operations. Activities that are financed and operated in a manner similar to private business enterprises, where the stated intent is to finance or recover the costs primarily through user charges. The school district bookstore, for example, could be charged to this code. Instruction should not be charged here but rather to function 1000. Food services should not be charged here but rather to function 3100. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
33005Community Services Operations. Activities concerned with providing services to the community. Examples of this function would be offering parental training or operating a community swimming pool, a recreation program for the elderly, or a child care center for working parents. Counseling for the parents of students, where the objective is to improve the education and well-being of the student should be reported in function 2120 Guidance Services. (Used only with program 800.)
40005Facilities Acquisition and Construction. Activities concerned with acquiring land and buildings; remodeling buildings; constructing buildings and additions to buildings; initially installing or extending service systems and other built-in equipment; and improving sites. (Used with all programs 100–900.)
4100Land Acquisition. Activities concerned with initially acquiring and improving land.
4200Land Improvement. Activities concerned with making permanent improvements to land, such as grading, fill, and environmental remediation.
4300Architecture and Engineering. The activities of architects and engineers related to acquiring and improving sites and improving buildings. Charges are made to this function only for those preliminary activities that may or may not result in additions to the school district's property. Otherwise, charge these services to function 4100, 4200, 4500, or 4600, as appropriate.
4400Educational Specifications Development. Activities concerned with preparing and interpreting descriptions of specific space requirements to be accommodated in a building. These specifications are interpreted to the architects and engineers in the early stages of blueprint development.
4500Building Acquisition and Construction. Activities concerned with buying or constructing buildings.
4600Site Improvement. Activities concerned with making nonpermanent improvements or enhancements to building sites. These improvements include fencing, walkways, tunnels, and temporary landscaping.
4700Building Improvements. Activities concerned with building additions and with installing or extending service systems and other built-in equipment.
4900Other Facilities Acquisition and Construction. Facilities acquisition and construction activities that cannot be classified above.
50005Debt Service. Activities related to servicing the long-term debt of the school district, including payments of both principal and interest. This function should be used to account for bond interest payments, retirement of bonded debt (including current and advance refundings), capital lease payments, and other long-term notes. Interest on short-term notes or loans (repayable within 1 year of receiving the obligation) is charged to function 2510. The receipt and payment of principal on those loans are treated as adjustments to the balance sheet account 451. (Used with all programs 100–900.)

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5 Account codes that are necessary for NCES reporting.

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