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How Well Do State Education Departments Report Public School Spending?

August 26, 2013 in Economics

Public schools are usually the most costly item in state and local budgets. Yet despite tremendous and persistent spending growth in the last half-century, the public vastly underestimates the true cost of public education. To better understand the source of this misperception, a new Cato report examines the spending data that all 50 state education departments make available to the public and assigns summary grades on financial transparency for state department of education websites. It reveals that very few state education departments provide complete and timely financial data that is understandable to the general public.

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