Education Resources, Data, and Analysis…
MuniNet’s Education & Schools page offers your gateway to a database of school metrics from the National Center for Education Statistics, and much more. You can find articles from MuniNet’s own researchers, and financial benchmarks and trends relevant to investors and policy makers, Futhermore, one of MuniNet Guide’s core missions is to direct researchers and citizens to the best websites, datasets, and organizations in areas that make cities and states stronger. We review the best research, analysis, and initiatives from thought leaders and action leaders, and cover their efforts. Please review our ‘Top Picks’ section below, our hand-picked list of websites and organizations in the area of state and local education practice and policy.
Click on any state on the map above to be taken to an alphabetical list of the public primary, middle, and secondary schools in that state. Or, utilize the ‘Refine Search’ drop-down menu to further narrow your search at the outset. Selecting a state makes the cities available, and narrowing by school type is optional. Each school profile, like the example here of Abe Lincoln Elementary School in Cicero, IL, includes geographic and contact information, as well as enrollment and teacher demographics.
Fiscal Trends of Our Education System
MuniNet provides charts covering some key fiscal metrics of state and local education systems. Data provided by public sources and Merritt Research Services. Click on any chart to expand.
Private Higher Education: Median $ Unrestricted Resources to Debt, 2009-2016
The Unrestricted Resources to Debt ratio measures the coverage of debt that is covered by financial reserves that are expendable by universities. This is at heart a measure of liquidity; how prepared is a given institution for financial emergencies or revenue volatility, be it sudden, dramatic changes in enrollment, cuts in state funding or private grants, or other unforeseen circumstances.
- BOTTOM LINE:
- Private Higher Education – Median Unrestricted Resources represent 62% of Total Debt. Slightly Down in 2016 from Past two years.
- 18.7% of all Private Higher Ed Universities had less than 10% Unrestricted Resources to Debt.
National School Districts’ Financial Condition Remains Mostly Healthy
Since the great recession, the median school district fund balance as a % of expenditures has fully recovered. 2015 results maintain this trend. At left, the chart of the national median for school districts of general fund balance as a percentage of expenditures remains above 18 percent. The fund balance as percentage of expenditures reflects the level of reserves a government has to absorb revenue declines or unexpected expenses.
The level of adequate reserves depends in part upon the characteristics of a state or local government. For example city or town that encounters frequent, somewhat predictable flooding may want to carry a higher fund balance. Conversely, larger governments, like states, large cities, and the nation’s largest school districts, can in many cases carry lower balances as a percentage of expenditures, because of the diverse options available to them to raise revenues in emergencies, as well as their increased capacity to plan for contingencies in other ways.
The Government Finance Officer’s Association recommends a fund balance, as a rule, of at least two months of regular general fund operating revenues. The Civic Federation endorses the GFOA recommendation, but also cautions against holding excess reserves. Excess reserves could be put to better use to make new investments in infrastructure or services, to pay off existing debt, or to put into investments with the possibility of earning returns, such as pension funds or other long-term investments.
You can also access additional School and Education resources, including higher education institutions, by visiting our NFMA Gateway.
American Association of State Colleges & Universities (ASSCU)
Association of nearly 420 institutional members committed to underserved students, economic progress and cultural development.
Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, The
Started in 1970, a classification of colleges and universities derived from empirical data to support research and policy analysis.
Assists students to prepare for college through programs in college readiness; including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Advocate for academic accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting institutions and recognizes 60 accrediting organizations.
Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP)
Develops innovative policy- and practice-oriented research to guide policymakers and education leaders in developing informed public policy decisions.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
A system of annual surveys from more than 7,500 institutions, used to provides basic data for students and researchers in postsecondary education.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. NCES is located within the U.S. Dept. of Education.
School District Demographics System (SDDS)
Web-based resource operated by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), enables access to school district demographic and related geographic data.
U.S. Department of Education (ED)
ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.