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School Level Finance Survey (SLFS) Reporting

School Level Finance Survey (SLFS) reporting information and guidance, including frequently asked questions and links to resources.

Background | Implementation Schedule | Calculating SLFS Data | Expenditure Detail | FAQs | Resources | Other Resources


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires state educational agencies (SEAs) and their local educational agencies (LEAs) to prepare and publish annual report cards that contain specified data elements, including LEA and school-level per-pupil expenditures (PPE). Since Fiscal Year (FY) 2018–19, the California Department of Education (CDE) has collected ESSA-PPE data annually from LEAs. To strengthen the data that has been collected via the ESSA-PPE requirements, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education (ED), along with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is implementing a new requirement, the School-Level Finance Survey (SLFS) that will allow for more continuity in reporting data at the school-level so that expenditures can be compared on a local, state, and national level.

The SLFS will be used to provide data to researchers, state and federal agencies, and the public on topics such as resource inequities, correlation at the school and per-pupil level of expenditures across states, how expenditures vary between low and high-income schools, and how spending on different functions affects student outcomes.

Prior to the 2022–23 data collection, participation by states in the SLFS was voluntary. However, the ED has mandated that the SLFS data collection be completed by all fifty states. The SLFS data collection differs from the ESSA-PPE requirement in that it collects financial data at the school level while not collecting data at a per-pupil level. The CDE anticipates modifying the existing ESSA-PPE data collection system to collect the SLFS data in addition to ESSA-PPE data. After the modifications, the data collection system will be able to separately capture both ESSA-PPE and SLFS data.

Implementation Schedule

Fiscal Year 2022–23 Data

To meet the FY 2022–23 SLFS data collection requirement, no new action is needed by the LEA. The California Department of Education (CDE) will utilize the data submitted by the LEA in the ESSA-PPE Reporting System Application External link opens in new window or tab. to generate a report for NCES.

Fiscal Year 2023–24 Data

Starting with FY 2023–24 data collection, NCES Function 1000 (Instruction) data field will be collected.

Fiscal Year 2024–25 and Beyond

In FY 2024–25, NCES Function 1000 (Instruction), NCES Function 2100 (Pupil Support Services), NCES 2200 (Instruction Support Services), NCES Function 2400 (School Administration), along with three exhibits will be collected.

Fiscal Year of Data Collection Required Data CDE Collection Window
2022–23 ESSA PPE submission December 2023 to March 2024
2023–24 NCES Function Instruction (1000) December 2024 to March 2025
2024–25 and beyond

NCES Functions:

  • Instruction (1000)
  • Pupil Support Services (2100)
  • Instruction Support Services (2200)
  • School Administration (2400)

    Plus, three exhibits:

  • Salaries paid to teachers (NCES Function 1000; NCES Objects 1X1 and 1X3)
  • Salaries paid to instructional staff or assistants (NCES Function 1000: NCES Objects 1X2)
  • Books and Periodicals (NCES Functions 1000 and 2200; Object 640)

December to March of each year


Calculating SLFS Data

LEAs, including charter schools, will calculate SLFS data using the financial data available within their local accounting systems. To assist LEAs in understanding and calculating the data fields required by the survey, the CDE has created the following figures to crosswalk between NCES codes and SACS codes to assist LEAs in determining which SACS Functions relate to the NCES Functions.

Figure 1a: NCES Functions to SACS Functions Crosswalk shows the recommended SACS Function codes that an LEA can sum to obtain the equivalent NCES Function Code. For example, for FY 2023–24 data collection (CDE Collection Window 12/2024 to 3/2025) the requirement is Instruction (NCES Function 1000). To obtain the equivalent of NCES Functon 1000 it is recommended for the LEA to take the sum of SACS Functions 1000, 1110, 1120, 1130, and 1190.

Figure 1b: NCES Exhibits to SACS Codes Crosswalk is very similar to Figure 1a except that it requires a subsection of data previously calculated. For example, when calculating Salaries paid to teachers (NCES Function 1000; NCES Objects 1X1 and 1X3), it is recommended the LEA filter the sum of SACS Functions 1000, 1110, 1120, and 1190 by SACS Object 1100. The resulting value will be entered into the data field

Figure 1a: NCES Functions to SACS Functions

NCES Function NCES Description SACS Function(s)
1000 Instruction

1000 - Instruction

1110 - Special Education: Separate Classes

1120 - Special Education: Resource Specialist Instruction

1130 - Special Education: Supplemental Aids and Services in Regular Classrooms

1190 - Special Education: Other Specialized Instructional Services

2100 Student Support Services

3110 - Guidance and Counseling Services

3120 - Psychological Services

3130 - Attendance and Social Work Services

3140 - Health Services

3150 - Speech, Pathology, and Audiology Services

3900 - Other Pupil Services

2200 Instructional Staff Support

2100 - Instructional Supervision and Administration

2130 - Curriculum Development

2140 - In-House Instructional Staff Development

2420 - Instructional Library, Media, and Technology

2490 - Other Instructional Resources

3160 - Pupil Testing Services

2400 School Administration 2700 - School Administration

Figure 1b: NCES Exhibits to SACS Codes

NCES Description SACS Object(s)
Salaries paid to teachers (With NCES Function 1000) 1100 - Certificated Teachers' Salaries
Salaries paid to instructional staff or assistants (With NCES Function 1000)

2100 - Classified Instructional Salaries

2200 - Classified Support Salaries

2900 - Other Classified Salaries

Books and Periodicals (with NCES Functions 1000 and 2200)

4100 - Approved Textbooks and Core Curricula Materials

4200 - Books and Other Reference Materials


Expenditure Detail

Included Expenditures

To meet the SLFS requirement, LEAs need to report all expenditures related to the day-to-day operation of their schools, and include appropriate expenditures incurred by the LEA on behalf of the school. These expenses can include staff salaries, benefits, supplies, purchased services, as well as general and school administration costs.

It is important to note that the SLFS requires actual expenditures, not budgeted or estimated, to be used.

Excluded Expenditures

Certain expenditures should be excluded when reporting school-level financial information. For example, expenditures not associated with prekindergarten through grade twelve students, such as adult education. Additionally, one-time significant expenditures, such as facility acquisition, should be excluded as it may distort the school-level data. The CDE recommends LEAs consider the following categories for exclusion:

  • Adult Education (Fund 11; Goal 4XXX)
  • Capital Outlay (Function 8500; Object 6XXX)
  • Community Services (Goal 8100, Function 5000)
  • Debt Service (Function 9100, Object 74XX)
  • Nonagency (Goals 7110 and 7150)
  • Tuition (Function 9200, Object 71XX)
  • Transfers (Functions 9200 and 9300; Object 72XX, 76XX)
  • County Services to District (Goal 8600)

Central-Level Expenditures

The expenditure calculation in the central-level expenditure fields should include those districtwide expenditures that are attributable to the school. To prevent duplication of expenditures, do not include expenditures reported elsewhere in this collection effort. Examples of central expenditures include:

  • General Administration
  • Food Services
  • Transportation Services
  • Enterprise Operations

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What does my LEA have do to meet the SLFS requirement for FY 2022–23 (Collection Window December 2023–March 2024)?

The SLFS requirement will be met for FY 2022–23 if the LEA completes its ESSA-PPE data collection.

2. What does my LEA have to do to meet the SLFS requirement for FY 2023–24 (Collection Window December 2024– March 2025)?

The LEA will need to provide the total current expenditures (school-level and central) for Instruction for each of its schools. A crosswalk has been provided to assist LEAs in identifying which SACS Functions should be used.

3. My school(s) does not use SACS to capture financial data. What can we do to meet this requirement?

LEAs are currently completing the ESSA PPE reporting requirement and can use the existing procedures to determine the calculations for the SLFS.

4. What system will my LEA use to submit the Instruction amounts for each school?

LEAs will use the ESSA-PPE web application. The web application will have a dedicated section for the SLFS collection.


Introduction to SLFS External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 13:58)


Registration (available July 2024)



March 2024 SLFS Letter to LEAs

Other Resources

National Center for Education Statistics External link opens in new window or tab.

U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights External link opens in new window or tab.

OMB Supporting Statements External link opens in new window or tab.

Questions:   Fiscal Oversight & Support | | 916-322-1770
Last Reviewed: Friday, March 15, 2024
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