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Accurate Data Reporting Enables Entitled Subsidies

Learning from Multiple PA School Districts

Learning From Multiple PA School Districts

Challenge

Long gone are the days where a district can create its own Free and Reduced Lunch tally and other reporting to obtain federal and state subsidies. Now only raw data is submitted and the state information management system uses multiple data crosschecks to generate and publish reports that determine millions of dollars in subsidy funding–often with results that are different from those anticipated.

Action

The Questeq onsite data staff evaluated and reconciled discrepancies between internal school software and the reports generated by the state. A key to improving the data reports is training and education for these administrative assistants and administrators (a new team) so that data will be entered accurately and updated within a time frame that avoids discrepancies–assuring the planned subsidies based on this data are realized.

Results

Accurate reporting in these PA districts earns all the entitled subsidies with few/no surprises. State Auditor General reports will find that these districts have complied with all state laws and administrative achievements. And, the data reported to the state’s Department of Education site–used often by the public when considering a move into the district–puts forward a realistic picture of the district with no surprises.

Improved Data Management Improves Districts

The Rest of the Story

Behind the scenes there are a few lessons that may help all districts better manage data:

  1. Creating a separate data team and properly training them on ever-changing data reporting standards will set a successful plan in motion.
  2. Discrepancies resolved by those teams can serve as useful lessons-learned to ensure that planned district subsidy funding (based on district data) are realized.
  3. Ensuring that all district educators, IT team and administrative personnel support the data team will help realize the long-term goal of using data to enhance student achievement.

Data Discrepancy Examples

See repaired data discrepancy examples that saved reputation or subsidies.

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