USED & White House
ED Extends an Invitation--Using School-by-School Data: An Opportunity for LEAs

Dear Colleagues,


Last summer, States and school districts reported, for the first time, school-by-school spending data required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Now publicly available, these school-by-school spending data provide a unique opportunity to inform education policy and management. Education leaders, policymakers, parents, and advocates can use these financial data to make allocation decisions and improve schooling in their communities. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education launched a new user-friendly website,, that clearly shows how much money each school spends per student.


To support schools in this effort, my office is working with the National Comprehensive Center (National Center) to offer around 10 local educational agencies (LEAs) the opportunity to receive support from national subject matter experts in visualizing these data and using them for local policy conversations to inform education improvements in their communities. The Comprehensive Centers program establishes Regional Centers and a National Comprehensive Center to provide capacity-building services to State educational agencies (SEAs), regional educational agencies (REAs), LEAs, and schools to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of instruction. For more information about their work, please visit


LEAs selected to participate in the pilot will work with the National Center team, including experts from the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University, to review their school spending data, create data visualizations, and develop plans for engaging stakeholders in conversations about equitable school spending. The attached document provides more details about the opportunity and expectations for participating LEAs. Since not all LEAs will be able to participate in this pilot, those who do will be expected to share what they learn with others across the country. The National Center will be seeking a diverse cohort of districts for this project.


I would like to encourage you to consider LEAs in your State that may benefit from participating in this pilot and to share this opportunity with them. States may nominate an LEA directly for participation in this funded project or pass along this invitation to any LEA leaders who may be interested in applying to participate. Any LEA nominations, interest, or questions should be emailed to Hannah Jarmolowski from the National Center at on or before January 15, 2021.


Thank you for helping us spread the word about this exciting opportunity.




Ruth E. Ryder
Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Elementary and Secondary Education
United States Department of Education

About the Author

Ruth Ryder is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Office of State Grant and Program Support in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) at the U.S. Department of Education.  In this role, Ms. Ryder oversees a broad range of management, policy, and program functions related to formula and discretionary grant programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA).  Ms. Ryder was previously the deputy director of the Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, which she joined in 1988. Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Ryder was a program administrator in a Washington state school district. There she had responsibility for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title 1 and Title II programs, state-remediation, gifted education, outcome-based education, and state- and district-wide testing programs.  Ms. Ryder has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education and a master’s degree in special education.