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School Finance - Actual instructional expenses in Pennsylvania

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Why This Indicator Matters

School district financial data can be analyzed in thousands of ways. However, Actual Instruction Expense is an established calculation that encompasses all of the spending on what happens in and around teaching students in a classroom.  In other words, it is the cost of running a school minus transportation, health, financing, and other programs.
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Definition and Source



Actual Instruction Expense - Includes all general fund expenditures as reported on the annual financial report by the school districts except those expenditures for health services, transportation, debt service, capital outlay, homebound instruction, early intervention, community/junior college education programs and payments to area vocational-technical schools.  Deductions are also made for selected local, state and federal revenues and for refunds of prior year expenditures and receipts from other local education agencies.  It is calculated in accord with Section 2501 of the “Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949.”

Actual Instruction Expense per Weighted Average Daily Membership (AIE/WADM) - Actual instruction expense divided by the weighted average daily membership.
Weighted Average Daily Membership (WADM) - The assignment of weight by grade level to the average daily membership.  The current weighting is half-time kindergarten at 0.5, full-time kindergarten at 1.0, elementary (grades 1-6) at 1.0, and secondary (grades 7-12) at 1.36.


The state instructional expense per weighted ADM represents the median figure.

ND = No Data Available.

Last Updated

January 2024