ESSA Transparency in Reporting Update

Currently the OPI reports per pupil expenditures on a statewide level. The new ESSA guidelines require schools to report per pupil expenditures by school code. All information collected by OPI is by legal entity (LE). Therefore, the state is now tasked with developing a statewide comparison of the per pupil expenditures by school code. There is no exception for school size in the ESSA guidelines. However, the OPI is looking into a waiver possibility to allow schools with less than 1,000 ANB to be exempt from the school code reporting requirement. If a waiver like this were approved, then 32 LE’s would be required to report the per pupil expenditures by school code level.

The ESSA per Pupil Expenditure Reporting Workgroup is being established to work on this task. The workgroup's Kickoff Meeting is scheduled for November 15th in Helena (conference calling is available) and it is anticipated the workgroup will meet meet on a monthly by phone or in person until guidelines are established. Currently, there are 30 participants in the workgroup including multiple schools, OPI staff and MASBO. OPI has reached out to the 32 LE’s who will be required to report this information and requested representation on the workgroup. A majority of those school have responded and will participate. If you are a school interested in participating in this workgroup, there is still time to join. Please contact Kara Sperle at or (406) 444-3249.

Implementation must be in place by July 1st, 2018, so schools can report the information by school code for the FY 2019 expenditures. Updates will be included in the OPI monthly summary, so stay tuned.

General questions or comments can be directed to Kara Sperle at or (406) 444-3249.

Please send questions to