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Introduction

The Common Core of Data (CCD) is an annual collection of public elementary and secondary education data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the data collection for the finance surveys on behalf of NCES. State education agencies (SEAs) report the finance data through an online data collection site. SEAs report student membership data through the U.S. Department of Education's EDFacts data collection system.

The purpose of this report is to introduce new data through the presentation of tables containing descriptive information; therefore, the selected findings chosen for this report demonstrate the range of information available when using the National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) component of CCD. The selected findings do not represent a complete review of all observed differences in the data and are not meant to emphasize any particular issue.

This report presents findings on public education revenues and expenditures using fiscal year 2011 (FY 11) data from the preliminary (version 1a) NPEFS file of the CCD survey system. Programs covered in NPEFS include regular, special, and vocational education; charter schools; and state-run education programs (such as special education centers or education programs for incarcerated youth). While the tables in this report include data for all NPEFS respondents, the discussion in the text is limited to the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

CCD NPEFS is a state-level universe collection of public elementary and secondary education finance data reported annually by SEAs in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. Island Areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NPEFS provides SEA-level data for all revenues and expenditures associated with each reporting state or jurisdiction, including revenues by source and expenditures by function and object.

SEAs participate in CCD voluntarily, following standard definitions for the data items they report. The SEAs submit data in conformance with Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2009 Edition (Allison, Honegger, and Johnson 2009), the NCES handbook that provides guidance to SEAs and LEAs in establishing and maintaining their school financial accounting systems.

In some cases, SEAs may be unable to report a key data item at all or may be unable to report a key data item in exact accordance with a CCD definition. When this happens, NCES imputes or edits values for these items. Please see Appendix A: Methodology and Technical Notes in this report for a detailed discussion of imputations and edits.

This First Look report provides users with an opportunity to access preliminary NPEFS data that were subject to one round of data review and editing. The release of preliminary data will be followed by a release of provisional data that will update the previously released preliminary data based on revised submissions and more extensive data review and editing. Revisions submitted after the provisional data file has been finalized will be incorporated in the final file for each fiscal year. Final data files will be released at the time of the release of preliminary data for the following year.

Please see appendix A for more information about survey content and methodology. Appendix B is a glossary of key terms used in this report. Appendix C contains updated fiscal year 2010 tables, inclusive of all data revisions since the tables were originally published in the FY 10 First Look report.

More information about CCD surveys and products is available at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd.

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