School Cost Accounting: What Do We Know and How Do We Get There?

Denison, Dwight, William Hartman, Leanna Stiefel and Michele Deegan
Public Performance & Management Review, 35 (1): 29-53.

This paper describes a model for assessing and reporting schoollevel resources. State and local decision-makers have been seeking ways to obtain such information for more than a decade, but there is as yet no easy, accessible way to do so and no way to satisfy both internal and external users of the information. The model, based on case studies in Pennsylvania (with successful replication in New York), resolves many of the issues. The seven principles that guide the model are explained, challenges in developing school-level reports are generalized, and resolutions to the challenges in three states are compared. The conclusion draws out implications for the future of regularly collected school resource data.

Wagner Faculty