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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. - Save time and money!

How our Database Works:Schools Page Image 1

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.

MuniNet Chart - Education 2

    • 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.

Education, schools page

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.

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Top Picks
The following featured links are approved by MuniNet as exceptional online resources offering up-to-date information on topics that matter