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School Level Finance Survey (SLFS) Data

The School-Level Finance Survey (SLFS) was initially a research and development effort to see if it is possible to collect and report expenditure data at the school level. Fifteen (15) states voluntarily participated in the SLFS for SY 2015–16 and SY 2016–17. On March 30, 2021 NCES released a report entitled Highlights of School-Level Finance Data: Selected Findings from the School-Level Finance Survey (SLFS) School Years 2015–16 (FY 16) and 2016–17 (FY 17) (NCES 2021–305). The report focuses on (1) the completeness and comparability of SLFS data and (2) how the SLFS can be utilized to evaluate differences in resource allocation (as measured by school-level expenditures) across schools, school districts, and states.

The Research and Development (R&D) series of reports at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has been initiated to share studies and research that are developmental in nature. The results of such studies may be revised as the work continues and additional data become available.

These data present results that do not reach definitive conclusions at this point in time because the data are tentative, and the methodology is new and developing. Therefore, the techniques and inferences made from the data are tentative and subject to revision. To facilitate the process of closure on the issues, we invite comment, criticism, and alternatives to what we have done. Such responses should be directed to:

Marilyn Seastrom
Chief Statistician
Statistical Standards Program
National Center for Education Statistics Institute of Education Sciences 1990 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006–5651

The SLFS is subject to the NCES Data Usage Agreement, which states that the SLFS data can only be used for the express purpose of research and development activities.

If you have any questions about these data sets please contact Stephen Cornman.

School Year Data Set Input Code Documentation
General Record Layout Survey Form
(Fiscal Year 2017)
Flat and SAS Files (3.8 MB) SPSS Code (3 KB) PDF (826 KB) Flat File (7 KB) PDF (210 KB)
(Fiscal Year 2016)
Flat and SAS Files (3.6 MB) SPSS Code (3 KB) PDF (829 KB) Flat File (7 KB) PDF (210 KB)

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