Graduation dashboard shows how education spending pays off
Utah’s State Auditor created a dashboard that shows historical graduation and spending rates per student to highlight differences in educational attainment.
Utah has developed an interactive dashboard showing statewide high school graduation and spending rates.
The dashboards are intended to provide insights for education officials, local decision-makers and the public into graduation rates across the state, which have risen from 83% to 88% between 2014 and 2021.
The latest dashboard, is part of the Office of the State Auditor’s Project KIDS, an in-depth education performance audit that integrates financial, operational and performance data to create interactive visualizations. It shows where public education funds are spent so stakeholders can better determine the impact of their investments.
The graduation rate dashboard combines data from the state’s Board of Education (BOE), local educational agencies and the Auditor’s Transparent Utah database. Users can see the average spending per high school student and corresponding graduation/dropout rates, either by LEAs or individual schools for each year, starting with 2014.
The dashboard also includes LEA demographics: the percentage of Hispanic and Latino students, those considered low income, English learners and special education students.
Two charts off to the side show the overall graduation rates for a selected year, graduation rates by demographic, spending per student and graduation/dropout trends over the last seven years.
Users can also see a schools-specific dashboard for more granular insights. Here, an animation shows how a school’s spending and graduation rates vary over time, and viewers can compare schools within each district.
Another trend chart shows a breakdown of spending categories, including transportation services, teacher instructional compensation, administrative expenses and more.
“I am pleased to see the improvement in Utah’s graduation rates over the last 8 years, however there are still opportunities for improvement,” State Auditor John Dougall said in a release. “While we celebrate the achievements of so many students, Utahns must expand learning opportunities to meet the needs of every student.”