USING THE STATISTICAL PROFILE (PER PUPIL SUMMARY)
The following is a summary of key information, which may be helpful when looking and referencing per-pupil expenditure data from the Statistical Profile as produced by the Department of Public Instruction.
Pupil Accounting Definitions
North Carolina uses the final Average Daily Membership (ADM) figure as our base for calculating per-pupil information. The National average uses the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure as their base. The ADA figure typically will be lower than an ADM figure; thus the National per-pupil figures may be higher as a result.
This section gives an overview of the financial data collected for the profile. The basic premise for per-pupil data is that those funds that can be directly attributed to the ADM (or K-12 population) are included. All other revenue and expenditure data is excluded. For example, the categories for Adult Education (7300) and for Community Services (7100) are not included in the per-pupil calculations since they do not tie directly to the K-12 student population. It should also be noted that items for Pre-K programs such as Smart Start, Head Start, and Federal funds, which target Pre-K, are also excluded when they can be identified.
Child Nutrition Factor
There are 2 per-pupil calculations presented in the profile, one including Child Nutrition funds and one excluding Child Nutrition funds. It should be noted, especially when looking at local per-pupil data, that the figures with Child Nutrition funding may create a wider gap between a "wealthy" system and a "low-wealth" system. The reason is that in a wealthy system you have fewer children who would qualify for federal reimbursement (free & reduced lunch count) of Child Nutrition funds. Child Nutrition funds are accounted for under local funds for those children not being reimbursed with federal dollars; however, in a county which has a larger number of children who qualify for reimbursement, the child nutrition dollars are accounted for under federal funds. Thus, you have a larger gap between systems in the local per pupil area.
It should also be noted that local data includes a variety of local revenue sources, and is not exclusive to funds contributed by the local county commissioners.
Position Allotment Factor
It should also be remembered that North Carolina's funding for teaching positions is a position-based allotment and not just dollar driven. This is unique among the states. As such if you have a less experienced (younger) teacher population in an area such as Wake County, their actual dollars spent on teaching positions will be lower than an area with a more experienced teacher population. They would both receive the same number of teaching positions per ADM; however, the overall effect on per pupil figures would vary since actual dollars expended for those same number of teaching positions would be different.
The above are just a few of the factors to consider when using the per pupil figures found in the Statistical Profile. If you have further questions, concerns, or need additional clarification, please contact the Division of School Business 919.807.3700.