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Appendix B: Common Core of Data Glossary


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This glossary applies to the Common Core of Data National Public Education Financial Survey. For additional detail, it is suggested that the data user consult the NCES accounting handbook, Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2014 Edition (Allison 2015).

administration expenditures—Expenditures for school administration (the school principal's office), general administration (the superintendent and board of education and their immediate staff), and other support services expenditures (LEA planners/researchers, personnel, fiscal services, warehousing, and other activities of an LEA).

capital outlay—Direct expenditures for construction of buildings, roads, and other improvements and for purchases of equipment, land, and existing structures. Includes amounts for additions, replacements, and major alterations to fixed works and structures. However, expenditures for repairs to fixed works and structures are classified as current expenditures for operations.

charter school—A school providing free public elementary and/or secondary education to eligible students under a specific charter granted by the state legislature or other recognized public chartering agency, and designated by such authority to be a charter school.

current expenditures—Current expenditures are comprised of expenditures for the day-to- day operation of schools and school districts for public elementary and secondary education, including expenditures for staff salaries and benefits, supplies, and purchased services. They exclude expenditures for construction, equipment, property, debt services, and programs outside of public elementary and secondary education, such as adult education and community services. Expenditures associated with repaying debts and capital outlays (e.g., purchases of land, school construction and equipment) are excluded from current expenditures. Programs outside the scope of public preschool through grade 12 education, such as community services and adult education, are not included in current expenditures.

debt—Long-term credit obligations of the school system or its parent government and all interest-bearing short-term (repayable within 1 year) credit obligations. It excludes non-interest-bearing short-term obligations, interfund obligations, amounts owed in a trust agency capacity, advances and contingent loans from other governments, and obligations to individuals from school system employee-retirement funds.

direct support for and on behalf of school districts—Expenditures for public education that are spent directly by the state government. State expenditure for staff retirement programs is the most common form of direct support. States often report these expenditures as lump sums to NCES, which distributes the amounts to specific functions and objects.

elementary/secondary education—Programs providing instruction, or assisting in providing instruction, for students in prekindergarten, kindergarten, grades 1 through 12, and ungraded programs.

employee benefits expenditures—Expenditures made in addition to gross salary that are not paid directly to employees. Employee benefits include amounts paid by, or on behalf of, an LEA for retirement contributions, health insurance, social security contributions, unemployment compensation, worker's compensation, tuition reimbursements, and other employee benefits.

enterprise operations—Activities that are financed, at least in part, by user charges, similar to a private business. Enterprise operations include operations that are operated as a business and receipts from the operation are expected to fund the enterprise (e.g., school bookstores and certain after school activities).

expenditures—All amounts of money paid out by a school system, net of recoveries and other correcting transactions, other than for retirement of debt, purchase of securities, extension of loans, and agency transactions. Expenditures include only external transactions of a school system and exclude noncash transactions such as the provision of perquisites or other in-kind payments.

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facilities acquisition and construction services—An expenditure function that includes the acquisition of land and buildings; building construction, remodeling, and additions; the initial installation or extension of service systems and other built-in equipment; and site improvement.

federal revenues—Revenues from the federal government, including direct grants-in-aid to schools or agencies, funds distributed through a state or intermediate agency, and revenues in lieu of taxes to compensate a school district for nontaxable federal institutions within the district's boundaries.

fiscal year—The 12-month period to which the annual operating budget applies. At the end of the fiscal year, the agency determines its financial condition and the results of its operations.

food services—Activities that provide food to students and staff in a school or LEA. These services include preparing and serving regular and incidental meals or snacks in connection with school activities as well as delivery of food to schools.

function—A category of expenditure defining the activity supported by the service or commodity bought.

general administration expenditures—Expenditures for the board of education and superintendent's office for the administration of LEAs, including salaries and benefits for superintendent, the school board, and their staff.

instruction and instruction-related expenditures—Include expenditures for instruction and instructional staff support services. These are expenditures that are directly related to providing instruction and for activities that assist with classroom instruction. The instruction and instruction- related expenditures category is more expansive than only instruction expenditures. Specifically, the instruction and instruction related expenditures category includes salaries and benefits for teachers, teaching assistants, librarians and library aides, in- service teacher trainers, curriculum development, student assessment, technology (for students but outside the classroom), and supplies and purchased services related to those activities.

instruction expenditures—Expenditures for activities related to the interaction between teachers and students. Current instruction expenditures include expenditures for activities related to the interaction between teachers and students, including salaries and benefits for teachers and teacher aides, textbooks, supplies, and purchased services. These expenditures also include expenditures relating to extracurricular and co-curricular activities.

instructional staff support services—Activities that include instructional staff training, educational media (library and audiovisual), and other instructional staff support services.

interest on debt expenditures—Interest expenditures on long-term debt.

intermediate sources of revenues—Education agencies with fundraising capabilities that operate between the state and local government levels. Intermediate revenues are included in local revenue totals.

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local education agency (LEA)—The government agency at the local level whose primary responsibility is to operate public schools or to contract for public school services. This item may be used interchangeably with the term "school district."

local revenues—Revenues from such sources as local property and nonproperty taxes, investments, and student activities such as textbook sales, transportation and tuition fees, and food service revenues. Local revenues include revenues from intermediate sources.

long-term debt—Debt payable more than 1 year after the date of issue.

object—A category of expenditure defining the service or commodity bought.

operation and maintenance expenditures—Expenditures for the operation of buildings, the care and upkeep of grounds and equipment, vehicle operations (other than student transportation) and maintenance, and security.

operations expenditures—Expenditures for operations and maintenance, student transportation, food services, and enterprise operations.

other program expenditures—Expenditures for community services, adult education, community colleges, private schools, and other programs that are not part of public elementary and secondary education.

other support services expenditures—Expenditures for business support services (activities concerned with the fiscal operation of the LEA), central support services (activities, other than general administration, which support each of the other instructional and support services programs, including planning, research, development, evaluation, information, and data processing services), and other support services expenditures not reported elsewhere.

purchased services expenditures—Expenditures for professional and technical services and the renting of equipment.

replacement equipment expenditures—Include expenditures for equipment for schools that are not new or recently renovated. Equipment is generally defined as items that last more than one year, are repaired rather than replaced, and have a cost over a level set by the state or local education agencies.

revenues—Additions to assets that do not incur an obligation that must be met at some future date, do not represent exchanges of fixed assets, and are available for expenditure by the LEAs in the state. Revenues include funds from local, intermediate, state, and federal sources.

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salaries—Salaries include the gross salaries of permanent and temporary staff on the payroll of LEAs, including temporary staff substituting for permanent employees. Salaries for full- and part-time staff are included along with overtime and salaries for staff on sabbatical leave. Also included are supplemental amounts for additional duties such as coaching or supervising extracurricular activities, bus supervision, and summer school teaching. Salaries for teachers and staff that are contracted out by an LEA are not included.

school administration expenditures—Expenditures for the office of the principal, full- time department chairpersons, and graduation expenses.

state revenues—Revenues received by LEAs from the state, including unrestricted grants-in- aid, restricted grants-in-aid, revenue in lieu of taxes, and payments for, or on behalf of, LEAs.

student membership—Membership is the official unduplicated student enrollment in the state, including students both present and absent within the state on October 1 or the school day closest to that date.

student support services—Student support services include attendance and social work, guidance, health, psychological services, speech pathology, audiology, and other student support services.

student transportation services—Expenditures for vehicle operation, monitoring, and vehicle servicing and maintenance associated with transportation services. For example, expenditures for purchasing buses are reported under equipment.

support services—An expenditure function divided into seven subfunctions: student support services, instructional staff support, general administration, school administration, operations and maintenance, student transportation, and other support services.

total expenditures—The sum of current expenditures, nonelementary/secondary expenditures, capital outlay, and interest payments on debts.

total revenues—The sum of revenue contributions emerging from local, state, and federal sources. Revenue received from bond sales or the sale of property or equipment is not included.

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